Rocket is a featherweight robot built by Team Robots Live! (entering under the name Team Apollo) which competed in the 2018 King of Bots UK International Championships. Modelled on the team's Robot Wars heavyweight Apollo, Rocket was armed with a powerful pneumatic flipper, which it used to reach the semi-final stage of the inaugural UK competition. After being defeated by eventual champion Amnesia, Rocket would eventually finish the event third overall, doing so by winning the playoff against DB12.
Rocket is a white and black wedge-shaped robot with a design resembling that of the second version of Apollo, sharing much of the latter's spacecraft-inspired aesthetics. The robot's weapon is a rear-hinged pneumatic flipper, which is capable of throwing opponents into the air or potentially out of the arena. Throughout its appearances in the competition, Rocket's flipper used two interchangeable arm configurations - one featuring a chequered pattern and a smooth lower lip resembling the weapon of Apollo, and another featuring a simplified color scheme and two forked tips.
King of Bots UK 2018Edit
Rocket’s first battle took place in the second qualification round, where it faced Chinese flipper Saber-X and the axe-wielding Broadax 2. Immediately, it darted towards Broadax 2 and around the flame jet, before attempting to get underneath Saber-X. Rocket pursued Saber-X further across the arena, eventually getting underneath and throwing it into the air. Momentarily driving up the flipper of Saber-X, Rocket drove swiftly around the center of the arena, eventually catapulting Saber-X again towards the side wall. It briefly held Broadax 2 under its now-open flipper, sustaining an axe blow before the two robots separated. Rocket sped away, only to drive up Saber-X’s flipper again and avoid an attack from the latter. It nudged both of its opponents and dodged another attempted flip from Saber-X, only to drive up the front wedge of Broadax 2.
As it weaved across the arena again, Rocket briefly sped underneath Broadax 2, launching it off the floor and onto Saber-X’s flipper. Performing a wheelie in the process, Rocket rammed the front of Saber-X and attempted to flip it once more. However, as the two machines circled around each other, Rocket flipped itself over, and struggled to self-right as Saber-X threw it against the wall. Rocket finally righted itself, proceeding to retreat and slam itself into the wall. Seconds later, it made another charge at Saber-X, this time momentarily throwing the latter onto its rear wheels. Rocket rammed Saber-X again, only for the Chinese machine to throw it into another wall; Rocket self-righted immediately, catapulting itself across the arena. This attack immobilized Rocket, making it the first of the trio to be eliminated from the battle. It was therefore relegated to third place, but nevertheless scored its first point of the qualification rounds.
- Samantha France: "That was really good! Unfortunately for you… what happened? Like, you just stopped!"
- Alan Young: "Yeah, I don’t know. It’s a brand new machine – it’s the first time it’s ran, so… there’s always certainly something silly like a wire come out or something like that. Erm, we need a few fights just to sort of shake the bugs out of them, so… I was having fun until then as well! And then, it just… that was just when it just stopped…"
- — Samantha France and Alan Young discuss Rocket’s immobilization
In the fourth qualifying round, Rocket fought another three-way battle, this time against a pair of vertical spinners in the form of Team Asgard’s DB12 and Team Impact’s Enigma. For this battle, it swapped its original flipper arm for the forked variant.
Before the battle was due to begin, Enigma withdrew, leaving Rocket and DB12 to fight alone. At the start, Rocket immediately lunged at DB12, and tentatively approached the red and gold machine as it tried to avoid the latter’s flywheel. Eventually, it slipped underneath DB12’s right-rear, throwing it into somersaults and causing DB12 to land on its weapon. Rocket gingerly nudged DB12 as the latter struggled to self-right, and reversed as DB12’s flywheel finally clipped the floor and kicked it back onto its wheels, Immediately, Rocket slipped underneath DB12 and flipped it again, but the gyroscopic forces of DB12’s flywheel kept it upright. Rocket pursued DB12 across the arena and flipped it over a third time. As DB12’s flywheel carried it across the floor, Rocket followed it into the corner, and waited as DB12 attempted to self-right once more. It nudged DB12 again as the latter’s flywheel stopped working, leaving DB12 immobilized. Rocket maneuvered across the arena until DB12 was fully counted out, before flipping its eliminated opponent back upright. With its first knockout victory, Rocket earned four points, bringing its total score up to five points.
Rocket’s third and final qualifier lead to it fighting DB12 a second time, along with The Mighty Unicorn. It began tentatively, darting towards one side of the arena while DB12 concentrated on attacking The Mighty Unicorn. Eventually, it approached The Mighty Unicorn, got underneath and threw it out of the arena, not long after the latter sustained damage from DB12. Seconds later, Rocket spun towards a nearby DB12, dodging its flywheel as it lured the red and gold machine to the far wall. After more dodging, Rocket got underneath the back of DB12 and threw it upwards; DB12 landed upright on top of Rocket, with Rocket proceeding to drive away. Rocket momentarily lingered over the flame jet, allowing DB12 to ram, push and damage its sides a few times with the flywheel. As the two competitors advanced towards the far side of the arena, Rocket circled round to the back of DB12 and threw it over the wall. With this, Rocket secured its second consecutive knockout and four more points, bringing its total score to nine points; it celebrated its victory by spinning around the arena and over the flame jet. Rocket's score was enough for it to finish joint-ninth in the qualifier standings, and to secure a place in the Knockout round.
There, it faced Forge Master. As before, Rocket immediately drove under the side of Forge Master and flipped it against the wall, although Forge Master self-righted and escaped. Rocket gave chase, eventually throwing Forge Master two more times in the corner of the arena. However, the momentum in the third flip resulted in Rocket throwing itself onto its wheels and against the wall. Rocket flipped itself over to break free and self-righted, slamming into Forge Master before pursuing and shepherding the latter into the corner. The two robots continued ramming and pushing each other towards the center of the arena until Rocket threw Forge Master over again. Rocket dodged an axe blow from Forge Master before throwing it over once more and shepherding it into the corner.
As it threw Forge Master against the railings again, Rocket got itself stuck a second time, but quickly threw itself off and self-righted, albeit not without somersaulting onto its back in the process. Rocket recovered to ram and flip Forge Master a few more times, before activating the pit. As the two competitors embraced, Rocket threw itself over and righted itself, and proceeded to flip Forge Master a few more times, at one point forcing Forge Master to self-right over the flame jet. Rocket flicked Forge Master towards the flame jet one last time before the battle ended, with both robots surviving to a Judges’ decision. The decision ruled in favor of Rocket, putting it through to the Round of 12.
Rocket’s next battle saw it face Little Devil, a scaled-down version of This is Fighting Robots third-place finisher Xiake. For this battle, it reverted to using the original flipper arm seen in its first qualifier. Straight away, Rocket sped along the far side of the arena, proceeding to nudge and dodge Little Devil several times. Pressing the pit release button, it attempted to flip Little Devil, but was again unable to get fully underneath the Chinese machine. Rocket continued to dodge and circle round Little Devil for some time, but sustained a few grazes from Little Devil’s drum, and was again unable to exploit Little Devil’s ground clearance. Eventually, the two robots circled round each other again; Rocket finally got its flipper underneath Little Devil and catapulted it into the corner. However, Little Devil landed upright, and both competitors circled round each other once more.
Rocket attempted a second flip, but missed, narrowly avoiding Little Devil’s drum as it retreated to the other side of the arena. It immediately tried to slip underneath Little Devil again, but missed another flip, and sustained more damage to its wedge from Little Devil’s drum. With Little Devil struggling to drive away from the wall, Rocket recovered to flip it over a second time in the corner – this attack momentarily forced Little Devil to drive alongside the railings. A third flip from Rocket freed Little Devil, but left the Chinese competitor upside-down - Rocket capitalized on Little Devil’s position by shepherding it towards the wall, pushing and throwing it a great distance across the arena. Moments later, the still-inverted Little Devil drove itself over the edge of the pit and fell in, gifting Rocket its fourth consecutive victory.
In the Quarter-Finals, Rocket faced another vertical spinner in the form of Sam Price’s Get Shrekt, once again sporting the forked flipper arm. At the start, it immediately approached Get Shrekt and attempted to attack it from the front, but without success. Rocket repeatedly dodged and lured Get Shrekt around the arena, before finally getting underneath and throwing the green machine over. As Get Shrekt recoiled back onto its wheels, Rocket drove away, proceeding to lure the former around the arena. Taking advantage of Get Shrekt’s stability issues, Rocket got underneath and threw it a second time into the corner; Get Shrekt’s disc hit the floor, sending it flying out of the arena. With this, Rocket earned its fifth victory and a place in the Semi-Finals.
- "Oh, what a flip – that was incredible! Amazing shot there! With that spinner, you only need to take one of those hits and it can tear your machine apart, so for [Young] to see that accurate driving to outmanoeuvre the vertical, get him out over the wall – just incredible!"
- — James Cooper reacts to Rocket’s out-of-the-arena flip on Get Shrekt
There, it faced Amnesia, a front-hinged flipper entered by Adam Hamilton. Rocket immediately charged at Amnesia, but was deflected upwards by the latter’s wedge, and struggled to get any purchase as Amnesia pushed and tried to flip it over against the wall. In doing so, Amnesia flipped itself over, allowing Rocket to escape and again attempt to land a flip in. The two robots circled towards the flame jet, with Rocket again being pushed and pursued by Amnesia. As before, Rocket drove over the top of Amnesia and was pushed towards the wall; Amnesia succeeded in tipping it over, forcing Rocket to self-right and retreat. Rocket again drove up the front of Amnesia, resulting in it being pushed and flipped over again. It tried to self-right numerous times, but landed upside-down each time, allowing Amnesia to push it towards the pit. As the Team Immersion machine pressed the pit release button and nudged it forwards, Rocket finally self-righted, only to find itself stranded on the edge of the pit itself. In trying to break free, Rocket flipped itself and dropped in, almost being joined by Amnesia. As a result, Rocket was counted out, despite being able to throw itself back out of the pit later on, and eliminated from the competition.
Rocket would fight one last time in the playoff, in an attempt to determine third and fourth places in the competition. There, it faced DB12, the third time in which both robots had fought each other. Immediately, the two robots met in the center of the arena, where Rocket slipped underneath the front of DB12 and pushed it back. However, it was unable to flip DB12, with both competitors proceeding to nudge each other a few times. This was until Rocket drove head-on into DB12, momentarily launching itself onto its back. After being collected by DB12 again, Rocket reversed and drove to the other side of the arena, where the two robots briefly bumped each other head-first. Finally, Rocket got underneath, pushed and threw DB12 onto the wall railings, resulting in the red and gold machine tumbling out of the arena. Rocket spun round in celebration as the battle drew to a close; this victory enabled it to finish third in the inaugural King of Bots UK International Championships.
|ROCKET - RESULTS|
|King of Bots UK 2018 (Insomnia 63)|
|Rumble||vs. Saber-X, Broadax 2||Lost (1 point)|
|Rumble||vs. DB12, Enigma||Won via knockout (4 points)|
|Rumble||vs. DB12, The Mighty Unicorn||Won via knockout (4 points)|
|Knockout||vs. Forge Master||Won|
|Round of 12||vs. Little Devil||Won|
|Quarter-Final||vs. Get Shrekt||Won|
|3rd Place Playoff||vs. DB12||Won|
- Wins: 6
- Losses: 2
Outside King of BotsEdit
One month after its King of Bots UK appearance, Rocket attended the Robots Live! event in Stevenage in September 2018. It took part as a static display outside the arena, with Team Robots Live! heavyweights Vulcan and Apollo also in attendance. In 2019, Rocket would return for the following year's Stevenage event, this time as an active competitor in the various featherweight rumbles held over the weekend.
For more information on other robots built by Team Robots Live!, including Rocket's heavyweight counterpart Apollo, see Vulcan.