Switch was a robot from the United Kingdom which competed in Season 1.5, the debut season of This is Fighting Robots, and the second season of King of Bots. It was built by Kevin Cleasby, who competed in Season 1 of King of Bots as part of Alan Young's Vulcan team.
In This is Fighting Robots, Switch was initially selected by Zhang Yishan of the Blue team, but lost both its rumble and its Tag Team battle under this captaincy before being eliminated from the competition.
Switch was more successful in King of Bots II, joining Zhu Zheng Ting's team in Episode 3 after immobilizing Cracked Sword in its first battle, and then immobilized both Emerald and Yesaji in a two-on-two battle while partnered with Snake. Despite these two back-to-back victories, Switch went the rest of the competition without fighting another battle, with captain Zhu Zheng Ting generally determined to cut it from his team, while other roboteers consistently volunteered to exit the competition in Kevin Cleasby's place. This left Switch as a member of the team until Zhu Zheng Ting's full roster was eliminated in fourth place.
Switch was a low box-shaped robot with a four-wheel drive system, using a predominantly yellow and black color scheme. It was designed to use modular weaponry, but time constraints made this infeasible, so Switch's primary weapon is a hammer, powered by a LEM motor, which also allows the robot to self-right. Switch also features two small hinged wedges at the front, each painted in yellow and black hazard stripes. The wedges were intended to protect the robot's front wheels as well as to get underneath opponents, although their hinges often lead to ground clearance issues and resulted in the wedges getting lodged underneath Switch during battles.
- "Switch was designed to be modular and therefore have switchable weapons however due to tight time constraints we focussed all of our time into making the best hammer we could which is powered by a LEM motor thanks to our friends at Lynch Motors!"
- — Switch Facebook page
Switch was completely rebuilt for King of Bots II, and now boasted an interchangeable array of weapons, including the returning hammer weapon, a drum spinner, and a lifting mechanism. The drum spinner proved to be effective in combat, securing two knockouts, although the lifter would ultimately not be used in the series. The robot's leading wedges were also refined to boast longer reach, with sharpened points, and Switch's internals were reworked.
This is Fighting Robots (Season 1.5)
During the celebrities’ initial selection process, Zhang Yishan chose Switch to join the Blue team, and thus secured its place in the main competition. It first appeared in the second round, where it fought EarthShaker, Stealth and Thunder and Lightning.
Switch began the battle by immediately turning into, circling round and driving up the front of EarthShaker; as it landed a blow on EarthShaker’s flipper, it was launched into the air, and inadvertently threw itself upside-down while retracting its hammer. A second flip from EarthShaker rolled Switch back onto its wheels, enabling it to escape and charge into Thunder. It was pushed back by the orange multibot, but used its hammer to throw itself off of Thunder’s wedge. Seconds later, Switch charged into Thunder again, but its hinged wedges resulted in it driving up Thunder’s wedge and leaving it helpless as Thunder pushed it over one of the floor flippers. The flipper threw both robots over, with Switch firing its hammer as Thunder proceeded to push it into Lightning.
Switch pushed Thunder back into Stealth and EarthShaker, which immediately flipped it over again. It self-righted flamboyantly using its hammer, only to be flipped over once more by EarthShaker and forced to self-right again. Switch darted away from an approaching Lightning before attempting to strike Thunder’s top armor as it and both multibots stood next to an immobile EarthShaker. Both Switch and Thunder were sent recoiling across the arena by an approaching Stealth, with Switch initially recovering by ramming into the rear of Stealth. By this point, it struggled for traction as one of its hinged wedges lifted its left-front wheel off the floor, allowing Thunder to push it into the wall spikes. Switch pushed Thunder back, driving away over the flame jets with both of its front wheels suspended, and sustained damage to one of its wedges as Thunder pushed it into a grinder. It continued to be pushed and carried around the arena until Stealth bumped into Thunder, causing Switch to be jolted free. Switch continued to pursue Thunder across the arena, only to receive one final hit from Stealth which threw it towards the flame jets.
Nevertheless, Switch was still mobile by the end of the battle, and survived to a Judges’ decision along with its remaining opponents. However, the decision ruled against Switch, resulting in it being unable to score a point for Yishan and his team. Switch was then drafted into the Tag Team round, where it was partnered with Lieutenant Bam of the yellow team, to battle the reigning King of Bots champion Spectre of the green team, and its teammate ORBY Blade of the red team.
At the start of the battle, Switch was slammed into the air by a charge from Spectre, which grabbed Switch by the rear wheel, and pressed it into the arena wall. This had already damaged Switch's locomotion, and Spectre continued to hassle it. Reversing away from the pit, ORBY Blade backed into Switch with its rear wedge, bringing Switch into the air. Switch drove under ORBY Blade and attempted to use its hammer, but missed its shot. Switch clearly had mobility on one wheel only, and after hovering around ORBY Blade, it eventually lost mobility altogether. Spectre took this opportunity to grab hold of Switch, crushing down on it while ramming it into the spikes on the arena wall, and then the Grinder. Spectre dragged Switch over to the pit, but just as it was about to drop Switch in for the official knockout, the pit raised back up, releasing the previously pitted Lieutenant Bam. Nevertheless, Switch was officially deemed immobile, and Lieutenant Bam was later pitted again, eliminating both teammates from the competition.
King of Bots II (Season 2)
Before the main filming of the series took place, the new version of Switch participated in a mandatory "warm-up battle", not included as part of the main series. Many roboteers in attendance were against the idea of these warm-up battles, and refused to use their weaponry in protest, including Switch. As a result, Switch lost its warm-up battle to Drift after refusing to fire its hammer for the full bout.
Switch first appeared in Episode 3, alongside eleven other international competitors. Switch was drawn against Cracked Sword in a head-to-head battle, to determine whether or not Switch would join Zhu Zheng Ting's team. For this battle, Switch used its signature hammer weapon.
Switch exhibited superior driving at the start of the battle, manoeuvring its way around to the back of Cracked Sword to pop it into the air. Switch then launched the most critical attack of the match by firing its hammer into the bar spinner of Cracked Sword - this succeeded in stopping the bar spinner of Cracked Sword, but Switch's hammer head was also torn away in the process. Nevertheless, Switch charged into Cracked Sword twice, missing its weapon swings on both occasions, although the second charge still disoriented Cracked Sword, and also kicked Switch's loose hammer head across the arena. Switch then drove Cracked Sword into the spikes lining the arena wall, loosening one of its exposed tires.
Another charge saw Switch wedge under the weapon frame of Cracked Sword to suspend it above the floor, but Switch still could not land any successful weapon blows until Cracked Sword backed into the arena wall, where Switch pinned it in place and took several swings using its bare weapon shaft, hitting the exposed bars of Cracked Sword's weapon frame. After the two robots separated, Switch carried Cracked Sword across the arena, and eventually, Cracked Sword lost mobility altogether. Switch therefore won the battle by knockout, and claimed a place on Zhu Zheng Ting's team.
In the next phase of the competition, Zhu Zheng Ting's team faced off against Tao Shen in what could have been up to three battles. Switch's place on the team was also under threat, as an overall loss from Zhu Zheng Ting's team across the next matches would have led to either Switch or Black Rabbit being removed from the roster. Switch and Two BBQ would have fought against Po Feng and Earth Shovel in the third of these matches, but as Zhu Zheng Ting's robots won their first two rounds over Tao Shen, Switch did not need to fight a battle, and its place on the team was retained.
Emerald entered the battle equipped with a large pole attached to its hammer, potentially to snag the drum spinner of Switch, but Emerald immediately drove onto the wedge of Snake and was briefly suspended there. However, Switch hit the back of its own teammate Snake, and then Yesaji hit the back of Switch in convoy. Snake then managed to drive under the side of Yesaji, and carried it across the arena until it had been delivered to the Grinder. The impact of the Grinder knocked Yesaji further up the wedge of Snake, and off the back end, causing Yesaji to topple over. Switch clipped the hammer of Emerald and then drove under its front armor to knock it loose, also ripping bolts and loose pieces out of Emerald's body. The inverted Yesaji had moved over to the Grinder, and turned itself into the hazard blade-first in order to throw itself back onto its wheels, also clipping Snake in the process. Switch had managed to push Emerald back towards the wall, inflicting more damage with successive hits from its drum spinner. At the same time, Snake also pushed Yesaji into the arena wall and started lifting it forwards. The repeated attacks from Switch eventually ripped Emerald's armor loose entirely, with it hanging off the side of the robot.
Although Emerald then landed a light hammer blow on Switch, the British robot slammed it into the wall and ripped away the front armor entirely. With Emerald's internals completely exposed, Switch was free to drive in and attack the innards, ripping away a wheel while throwing Emerald onto its back. Although some of Emerald's tattered wheels still spun helplessly, it could not fire its hammer to self-right, and Emerald was counted out by the referee. Snake continued to hold Yesaji in place, preventing its escape until Switch closed in and directly hit Yesaji from behind, throwing it over. Switch then hit the top armor of Yesaji again, while Snake was momentarily lifted by the floor flipper. Yesaji could only pivot in place slowly, but when Switch charged in and flipped it back over with another drum spinner attack, Yesaji also clipped one of Switch's front wedges, and Switch then tore its own loose wedge off. Regardless, Yesaji then came to a complete standstill and was counted out, awarding the win by knockout to Switch and Snake.
As a result of this win, Zhu Zheng Ting's robots had secured an overall victory against Tu Ziya's team by a margin of 2-1, allowing Switch to avoid being cut from the team at this stage, while Tu Ziya was forced to eliminate Emerald.
Switch progressed through to the Elimination Round of the competition, where Zhu Zheng Ting was once again drawn up against Tu Ziya. This time, however, he lost the round and was forced to cut one of his robots. Despite having won both of its fights, Switch was chosen to be eliminated. However, Switch's position on the team was retained after Gabriel Stroud of Tánshè, which had lost its battle in that round to Iron Scrap, convinced Zhu Zheng Ting to cut his robot instead of Switch. As a result, Switch narrowly advanced.
- "I was very shocked. I hadn't had a chance to fight that day, and the last fight I had with Snake was very successful. We've proved ourselves to be very strong, and I don't think we deserve to be kicked out at this stage."
- — Kevin Cleasby on being cut from the team, before Gabriel Stroud withdrew
This process would unfortunately repeat itself yet another two times. Initially, Snake suffered a very unfortunate defeat to Megabyte, and with Snake generally dominating the fight until it was pinned under an arena spike, Zhu Zheng Ting once again wished to cut Switch, but Snake's team and Ellis Ware convinced their captain to cut Snake and save Switch. Switch still was not drawn into a fight in the next phase of battles, and when Two BBQ fell in defeat to Megabyte, Two BBQ's captain resigned from the competition to prevent Switch from being eliminated.
Zhu Zheng Ting was left with only Switch, Black Rabbit and The Hounds left on his team, and only one battle later, Black Rabbit suffered a shock loss to Rhino after becoming stuck on an arena hazard. With this defeat, all three of Zhu Zheng Ting's remaining machines were eliminated at once, including Switch, which exited the competition despite never losing a battle along the way.
|SWITCH - RESULTS|
|This is Fighting Robots (Season 1.5)|
|Rumble||vs. EarthShaker, Stealth, Thunder and Lightning||Lost|
(with Lieutenant Bam)
|vs. ORBY Blade & Spectre||Lost|
|King of Bots (Season 2)|
Part of Zhu Zheng Ting's team
|Challenger Round||vs. Cracked Sword||Won|
|Episode 6, 2v2 (with Snake)||vs. Emerald & Yesaji||Won|
|NOTE: Switch would never fight another battle, and was eventually eliminated when Zhu Zheng Ting's entire team was knocked out of the competition in fourth place.|
|NOTE: Like other international robots competing in warm-up battles, Switch refused to use its weaponry during this battle, in protest.|
- Wins: 2
- Losses: 2
NOTE: Switch's warm-up battle is not included
|Series||Switch Series Record|
|Season 1||Entered with Vulcan|
|Season 1.5||Zhang Yishan's team|
|Season 2||Zhu Zheng Ting's team|
NOTE: Kevin Cleasby entered the King of Bots UK featherweight championship with Microswitch
Outside King of Bots
Kevin Cleasby is a member of Team Make Robotics, who had competed in the UK TV show Robot Wars with Behemoth since the second series. Cleasby himself first appeared as a team member in the eighth series, filmed and broadcast in 2016. In Series 8, Behemoth qualified over Bonk and The General to advance to the second round, where it defeated Nuts and Terrorhurtz in sequence, but lost a destructive battle to Carbide. This still gave Behemoth enough points to qualify for the Heat Final, but Behemoth lost to Carbide once again here.
Behemoth returned for Series 9 and advanced over Cobra and Hobgoblin in its Group Battle, but lost its second battle to Eruption. Behemoth started to redeem this by defeating PP3D, but after applying an experimental new weapon, Behemoth controversially lost its final battle of the series to Cherub.
Behemoth competed in Series 10 and won a narrow Judges' decision over Sabretooth and Donald Thump in the first round, and defeated The Swarm in the second round, to reach the Heat Final against former champion Apollo. Here, Behemoth pulled off a surprise win to enter its first Grand Final, although it was pitted in battle with Carbide and Nuts 2. Behemoth flipped Magnetar to win its Redemption Round, but was finally stopped by Eruption in the semi-final of the competition, resigning Behemoth to third place.
In September 2018, Switch and Behemoth appeared together for the first time at the Robots Live! event in Stevenage. Both robots fought in the main FRA UK Championship with reasonable success, initially reaching the quarter-finals before losing to Manta and Iron-Awe 6 respectively. Switch and Behemoth fought together in a 'Redemption' round alongside YOTON for a place in the semi-finals, with varying fortunes - while Behemoth was pitted mid-battle and eliminated from the championship, Switch survived the full three minutes and progressed on the subsequent judges' decision. However, after burning its weapon motor out and being left short of spares, Switch was forced to concede its place in the semi-finals, allowing YOTON to be reinstated.
In September 2019, Switch and Behemoth would once again compete in the FRA UK Championship at Stevenage, reaching the second round of the main championship and winning at least one whiteboard battle each.