Tempest (originally known as Slam during construction) is a British featherweight robot which competed in the 2018 King of Bots UK International Championships. Entered by Matthew Pearman of Team Slam, and built to a design made by Adam Hamilton and Andy Russell, it reached the Top 20 stage of the competition after earning one knockout victory and two second-place finishes in the qualification rounds. However, due to severe damage sustained in its last qualifying battle, Tempest withdrew from the 2018 UK International Championships prior to the Knockout Round, its place being taken by Utopia.


  • Early render of Tempest, under its original name Slam
  • Renders of Slam with disc and bar spinner weapons
  • Profile image of Tempest, based on an early render of Slam
  • Final render of Tempest
  • The watercut parts for Tempest, awaiting assembly

Tempest is an invertible, two-wheel drive robot with a silver and black color scheme and armed with a powerful horizontal bar spinner. The spinner weighs 3kg, is painted silver with purple gradient tips and incorporates an asymmetrical design with two bladed edges. The main bulkheads for Tempest's chassis and weapon mounts, as well as the bar spinner itself, were made out of watercut HARDOX, with the sides being made out of HDPE billets.

Some early renders for Tempest, produced when it was still called Slam, depicted the robot with a horizontal flywheel weapon as well as its bar spinner. The robot's planned color scheme also varied between renders, from sand yellow with lilac logos and accents, to white and blue. The final build of Tempest would only use the bar spinner in the 2018 UK International Championships, and was intended to be painted white and purple. However, when Matthew Pearman could not obtain any white HDPE billets for the chassis, he instead used black billets, and painted the rest of Tempest silver.[1]

Robot HistoryEdit

King of Bots UK 2018Edit

Microswitch vs Tempest 1

Tempest recoils from an attack by Microswitch

Calabash Brothers vs Tempest vs Microswitch 1

A hit from Calabash Bros sends Tempest airborne

Tempest's first battle took place in the opening qualification round, where it faced Chinese competitor Calabash Bros and Kevin Cleasby’s Microswitch. It started tentatively, initially staying away from its opponents in order to get its bar spinner up to speed. Tempest eventually approached Microswitch, and was thrown into the air by the latter’s drum; after hitting Microswitch in response, it spun round and was hit from behind by Calabash Bros. This catapulted Tempest across the arena, which recoiled as it landed on the floor spinner-first. Tempest lunged at Calabash Bros shortly after the latter threw Microswitch over, clipping the Chinese robot’s side. However, it then sustained another hit from Calabash Bros which sent it spinning violently into the arena corner.

Large colision between Calabash and Tempest

A head-on collision sends both Tempest and Calabash Bros recoiling

Calabash Brothers vs Tempest 1

Tempest's weapon stops working, just as it is flung into the wall by Calabash Bros

As Calabash Bros resumed its attacks on Microswitch, Tempest pursued it across the arena, eventually clipping the front of Calabash Bros. A second head-on collision sent both robots recoiling violently; Tempest’s spinner struck the floor again, while the impact flipped Calabash Bros into the wall. As Calabash Bros gyro-danced over the closed pit, Tempest spun round for several seconds, before dodging a lunge from Calabash Bros while the latter struggled to right itself using the gyroscopic forces of its own spinner. Tempest held back as Microswitch proceeded to push Calabash Bros around; however, it ejected its own weapon belt, resulting in the bar spinner slowing down. This left Tempest vulnerable as Calabash Bros self-righted, the Chinese machine eventually pushing, hitting and sending Tempest flying into the wall with another powerful blow.

Calabash Bros pops Tempest

Tempest is thrown across the arena again by Calabash Bros

Calabash Brothers damage

While it lost the subsequent Judges' decision, Tempest's bar spinner still inflicted considerable damage to Calabash Bros' bulkhead

Without a functioning weapon, Tempest sustained another hit from Calabash Bros, and was thrown into the air again after spending some time trying to push Calabash Bros along. It sustained a few more blows from Calabash Bros before pressing the pit release button; Calabash Bros proceeded to hit Tempest repeatedly before throwing it across the arena one last time. As Calabash Bros attacked Microswitch yet again, Tempest shuttled back and forth before bumping the purple machine again just before time ran out. The battle went to a Judges’ decision, which ruled Calabash Bros the winner. Being the only other robot still mobile, Tempest scored two points for its second-place finish, having caused significant damage to Calabash Bros' bulkhead and torn one of its front panels off.[1]

Tempest vs Beauty 2 sparks

Sparks fly as Tempest lands a knockout blow on Beauty 2

Tempest vs Telekinesis

One of several collisions between Tempest and Telekinesis

Tempest vs Telekinesis 2

Tempest (right) emerges victorious as Telekinesis stops moving

In its second qualifier, Tempest faced another horizontal spinner in Telekinesis, as well as veteran UK flipper Beauty 2. Prior to the battle starting, Matthew Pearman agreed to team up with Andy Russell and eliminate Beauty 2 together, after Russell expressed concerns about fighting Tempest and its larger spinner beforehand.[1] As before, Tempest spent the opening moments waiting for its bar spinner to reach maximum speed, before gingerly approaching and clipping the side of Telekinesis. Tempest then slammed into the rear of Beauty 2, sending a vast shower of sparks flying and immobilizing the Team Beast machine instantly. The impact caused Tempest to recoil into an inverted Telekinesis, once again resulting in Tempest’s bar hitting the side of Telekinesis and sending Andy Russell’s robot spinning into the wall. This impact bent Telekinesis' side armor in and cracked one of its wheel hubs, reducing its mobility. Tempest proceeded to hit the front of Telekinesis several times, causing both robots to recoil across the arena and tearing into Telekinesis' belt guard. It attempted to press the pit release button, but missed, forcing Tempest to push the button a second time while Telekinesis stayed out of the way. Shortly after, Telekinesis stopped moving completely, gifting Tempest its first knockout victory and four points.

For its third and final qualification round, Tempest was to face the axlebot Straddle 2 and front-hinged flipper Strix. However, transmitter issues forced Strix to forfeit the battle at the last minute[2], leaving the two spinner-wielding robots to fight alone. On the night before the final qualification round, Adam Hamilton of Team Immersion welded extra bracing onto Tempest’s chassis, in an effort to prevent it from bending easily against the impacts of Straddle 2’s weapon.[3]

Straddle 2 vs Tempest

Tempest and Straddle 2 recoil following their collision

Tempest split open

Tempest, badly damaged and without its weapon

Tempest bulkhead damage

The damage sustained to Tempest's bulkhead forced the Team Slam machine to withdraw from the knockout round

Both competitors approached each other tentatively as they got their spinners up to speed. Tempest soon got itself underneath Straddle 2 and turned round a few times, in an attempt to protect its weapon bulkheads from Straddle 2’s vertical bar. However, in doing so, Tempest sustained a heavy blow from Straddle 2, which flung both robots across opposite sides of the arena, damaged Straddle 2’s left wheel and bent Tempest’s top bulkhead. Tempest’s bar spinner completely detached upon hitting the wall, with the robot itself recoiling and coming to rest near the pit. With both robots immobilized on impact, Tempest and Straddle 2 were counted out simultaneously, and were later taken out of the arena for post-battle interviews. Straddle 2 was subsequently declared the winner, relegating Tempest to second place and two more points.

With a total of eight points, Tempest still scored highly enough to qualify for the Top 20, and was scheduled to fight Barghest in the Knockout Round. However, the damage sustained in its previous battle proved too great for Tempest to be repaired in time, resulting in it withdrawing from the 2018 UK International Championships at this stage. Tempest’s place in its knockout round would be taken by Utopia, which in turn would fight Calabash Bros when Barghest also withdrew from the same battle.


King of Bots UK 2018 (Insomnia 63)
Main Championship
Knockout Round
Rumble vs. Microswitch, Calabash Bros Lost (2 points)
Rumble vs. Beauty 2, Telekinesis Won via knockout (4 points)
Rumble vs. Straddle 2, Strix Lost (2 points)
Knockout vs. Barghest Withdrew
NOTE: Tempest withdrew from its knockout battle and was replaced by Utopia.


  • Wins: 1
  • Losses: 2

NOTE: Tempest's withdrawal from its battle against Barghest is not considered to be a loss.

Outside King of BotsEdit

As well as competing in live events as part of Team Slam, Matthew Pearman is also a long-term member of Team Immersion, and was part of the team when they competed in the pilot episode of Robot Wars: Series 8 with Tanto. Lent to the team by Craig Danby, and required to fight without its disc working due to the arena being unfinished, Tanto enjoyed limited success; in its first-round battle, it was eliminated after driving over the top of Ka-Pow! and losing its removable link. Pearman remained part of Team Immersion when they competed in the 2016 FRA Featherweight International Championships, entering with his own vertical spinner Surveyor. Surveyor was subsequently sold by the end of the year to Alistair Sutherland, so that Pearman could obtain funds for later robot projects.[4] Sutherland later removed Surveyor's weapon system, which was reused on various incarnations of his robot Blunt Force Trauma.[1]

In October 2016, Matthew Pearman became the current owner of former two-time Robot Wars semi-finalist Dantomkia, and has competed with it at live events under the Team Slam name. Modifications carried out to Dantomkia under Team Slam’s ownership included the addition of revised armor and a larger flipper plate; in this form, it attended the Robots Live! Stevenage event in October 2017. On a Facebook post uploaded in December 2018, Team Slam revealed that they were upgrading Dantomkia’s drive system and flipper mechanism, in anticipation of building a new version for live events.[5]

At various times, Pearman also owned several other competitors from the original series of Robot Wars, including S.M.I.D.S.Y., Bulldog Breed and The Grim Reaper.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Correspondence with Adam Hamilton, 18th December 2018.
  3. Correspondence with Adam Hamilton, 16th December 2018.
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