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"We are Vulcan, and we're ready for anyone in the arena"
— Alan Young

Vulcan (referred to in Chinese as 狂战斧, translated to Battle Axe) was a heavyweight robot from the United Kingdom which competed in both seasons of King of Bots, and Season 1.5, the debut season of This is Fighting Robots. Entered by Team Robots Live!, a team notable for building former UK Robot Wars champion Apollo, it improved its record with every series entered, peaking with an overall victory in King of Bots II.

In Season 1 of King of Bots, Vulcan lost in the first round to Saber, but avenged this loss in a Tag Team battle, where it defeated Saber and Greedy Snake alongside teammate Tánshè.

In Season 1.5, Vulcan was the first choice of Zheng Shuang, which enabled it to participate in the main competition as a member of the Green team. It scored one victory under Shaung's captaincy, in a rumble against Firefox and Zen Oh, before losing its Tag Team battle to Greedy Snake and 008, putting Vulcan out of the competition, before it was reinstated as part of Zhang Yishan's team, where it emphatically defeated South American Eagle God. Vulcan then earned a knockout win over Megabyte without the use of its axe, after disabling its opponent's shell spinner. It fought valiantly in a rumble which was ultimately won by Tungsten, but Vulcan advanced to the Top 8 of the competition regardless, where it was finally eliminated by Shrederator Tiger Claw.

Vulcan also took part in the 2019 Opening Battle, where it fought in one battle as part of the red team. There, it won against Hold Me Back on a Judges' decision, despite getting flipped and damaged by the latter's eggbeater spinner in the early stages.

In King of Bots II, Vulcan used a completely new design, entering the competition as a rear-hinged flipper, collecting a notable first win over Xiake by throwing it out of the arena, to join Huang Jian Xiang's team, a team which Alan Young would also captain for the remainder of the competition. Vulcan then teamed up with Xiake to defeat Doraemon and Emerald in a two-on-two battle, and in a rematch from Season 1, Vulcan avenged its former loss to Saber. Vulcan continued its winning streak by beating Boxing Champion and Cracked Sword in consecutive battles, to earn its place in the final tournament. Despite facing challenge from both Spectre and Drift, Vulcan won both of these fights back-to-back to make it the King of Bots II champion, alongside its manager Huang Jian Xiang and the rest of his team.

Versions of Vulcan

Vulcan (Season 1, 1.5, 2019 Opening Battle)

Vulcan with Team Robots Live! in Season 1

Vulcan was a robot with a roughly dual-wedged profile, armed with a powerful pneumatic axe and utilizing two AmpFlow motors for drive. Its axe - powered by compressed air in Season 1 - featured a short arm to allow for greater accuracy, as well as a pair of interchangeable heads - one bladed, the other with a pointed tip. Vulcan's axe also enabled the robot to self-right, providing that it had a sufficient air supply to do so. Vulcan's design also incorporated a steep front wedge which enabled it to push and deflect opponents, a rear strut to keep the robot stable when the axe fired, and external metal pipework covering its pneumatics system. Its dimensions were one meter in width and 1.4 meters in length. In Season 1, Vulcan featured an all-over black wedge and chassis as well as a two-wheel drive system for propulsion. However, its wheels did not prove durable in its initial appearance, while the robot could also not self-right once its axe's air supply became depleted.

Vulcan in Season 1.5

Vulcan was rebuilt for This is Fighting Robots, its original two-wheel drive system upgraded to four-wheel drive for improved traction and control. The axe was now powered by CO2 instead of compressed air, to double the amount of hits Vulcan can deliver in battle. Vulcan also received a new front wedge with two smaller prongs and the Union Jack - the national flag of the United Kingdom - as well as a second, larger spiked axe head which could be made interchangeable with the other two heads.

Vulcan demonstrates its adjustable ground clearance in Season 1.5

One of Vulcan's most distinctive features was an adjustable ground clearance, made possible by an extra set of pneumatic rams connecting its wheel assemblies to the main chassis. These enabled the whole robot to raise and lower itself off the floor, with the intention of allowing Vulcan to drive off opponents' wedges as well as over debris and irregularities in the arena floor.[1]

Vulcan (King of Bots II)

"Previously we had an axe, we've had a lot of success in the past with flippers, so we've gone back to what we know."
— Alan Young

Vulcan as it appears in King of Bots II

Vulcan on its table

Having entered every previous season using an axe weapon, Vulcan entered King of Bots II with a completely different design inspired by the team's Robot Wars entry, Apollo. This version was a wedge-shaped robot armoured in HARDOX, which was armed with a full-pressure flipper in the center of the robot, easily capable of launching robots high into the air. Vulcan runs on four-wheel drive like the original robot, which is a creative difference from Apollo, and as a result, the thickness of the robot's armor differed in various areas of the machine in order to stay within the weight limit. Its flipper system was also refined from that of Apollo, although the back end of the robot was heavily unprotected.

The Team

Vulcan with Ed Wallace and Alan Young in King of Bots II

Vulcan was captained by Alan Young, director of Robots Live! events in the United Kingdom. He was initially joined by fellow British roboteers Ed Wallace and Kevin Cleasby, but Ed Wallace was unable to attend the filming of This is Fighting Robots, while Kevin Cleasby entered with his own robot, Switch. Sam Cooper, Young's teammate in BattleBots, joined the team for Season 1.5. For the 2019 Opening Battle, Kevin Cleasby rejoined the team to partner Alan Young for Vulcan's solitary battle. Ed Wallace rejoined the team for King of Bots II, while Kevin Cleasby again competed with Switch.

Robot History

King of Bots (Season 1)

"China is new to the sport, and it's great to see it get behind it in such a big way. We want to be a part of that, and of course be champions as well."
— Alan Young

In the first round, Vulcan fought the Chinese flipper Saber, equipped with the bladed axe head.

Vulcan is flipped over

The killer flip on Vulcan

Vulcan's axe head is stuck in a flame jet hole

As Vulcan was initially evasive in the start of the battle, Saber chased after it, and managed to drive under the back end of Vulcan to flip it over. Vulcan quickly self-righted, and met Saberin the center of the arena, but missed with its axe blow. While backing away, Saber's wedges briefly buckled, allowing Vulcan to catch up to it, and nearly struck it with the axe, barely missing. After this, Vulcan drove onto a floor flipper, and was turned over. This caused one of Vulcan's wheels to fall out, so Saber became the more offensive machine, pushing Vulcan back and flipping it over. Although it self-righted, Saber's pursuit caused Vulcan to overturn itself by the power of its axe, and it was pushed backwards. Saber flipped Vulcan back onto its wheel, but as the latter was effectively immobile, Saber paced itself to flip Vulcan into a corner of the arena, where the hammer threatened it. Vulcan was left idle as it struggled to self-right, and after several failed attempts, Vulcan's axe head became stuck in a flame jet, stopping it from self-righting while the robot was burnt. Vulcan was counted out, and eliminated, over two minutes into the battle.

"Our opponents were brilliant, they were great, they drove really well, their flipper's really good. I think they've got a good chance, going forward."
— Alan Young on Saber

In a Tag Team battle filmed at the end of the series, Vulcan gained the opportunity to avenge its loss to Saber by teaming up with fellow British entry Tánshè to battle Greedy Snake and Saber - for this battle, it swapped its bladed axe head for a narrower head with a pointed tip.

Tánshè throws Greedy Snake into the wall

Vulcan attempts to strike Saber

While the four robots gathered, Vulcan and Tánshè sandwiched Saber, forcing it to fire its flipper at thin air. Vulcan capitalized by striking the side of Saber with its axe, barely missing the main body. In this time, Tánshè launched Greedy Snake into the plexiglass wall, and then flipped Saber in the same manner. In doing so, Tánshè exposed its back end to Greedy Snake, which picked it up and held it aloft. Vulcan fought a private battle with Saber in the meantime, until Greedy Snake turned Tánshè over and released it, forcing Tánshè to self-right powerfully.

Vulcan axes the inverted Saber

Vulcan axes Saber to assist the grabbed Tánshè

Vulcan pressed into the back of Saber, but missed with its axe blow, also pressuring Greedy Snake without success. Tánshè then caught Saber from behind and threw it over, where it slid towards the wall. Greedy Snake charged in to assist it, but Tánshè and Vulcan both trapped the Chinese team there. Vulcan landed two axe blows on the chassis of Saber, while Greedy Snake once again grabbed Tánshè, prompting Vulcan to pound the top of Greedy Snake, including its weapon system, throwing sparks. Greedy Snake was able to pick up Tánshè and turn it over, but Vulcan prevented Saber's self-righting by trapping it under the spikes on the arena wall. Vulcan pinned Greedy Snake against the arena wall, but while Saber struggled its way out of its current position, Tánshè launched it into the corner of the arena.

Vulcan is driven back by Snake

While Tánshè continually flipped Saber, Vulcan slammed into Greedy Snake, and the Chinese robot responded by driving it across the arena, towards the Grinder. Greedy Snake later drove under Vulcan's wedge again and edged it backwards, towards the battle between Tánshè and Saber. After breaking free, all four robots bumped into one another, until Tánshè threw Saber over, this time leaving it idle, as Saber lacked the power to self-right. Vulcan drove over the arena saws, and Tánshè mistimed a flip to throw itself over, while the clock displayed the final ten seconds. Greedy Snake held Tánshè against the arena floor as the battle timer elapsed, and the battle was sent to a Judges' decision, prompting Vulcan to spin in the center of the arena. The late immobilization of Saber assisted the British team, and the Judges awarded the win to Vulcan and Tánshè.

This is Fighting Robots (Season 1.5)

Vulcan's appealing design meant that Zheng Shuang was immediately drawn towards it, and Vulcan became her first choice to join her team of five robots (aside from Bonfire which she later deselected), a team which would later include Spectre, Tánshè, Tungsten and Megabyte. This allowed Vulcan to advance to the main competition, where it was first chosen by Shaung to fight Firefox and Zen Oh in the second round, at the suggestion of Alan Young.

Vulcan deflects...

...and axes Zen Oh in the opening moments

Vulcan is momentarily suspended by the floor rods

Before the battle began, Vulcan demonstrated its adjustable ground clearance, impressing the celebrity team captains in the process; meanwhile, rival team captains Wu Chun and Zhang Yishan decided to team up in an attempt to eliminate the British machine. Immediately, Vulcan darted towards and pursued Zen Oh across the arena, eventually deflecting it a few times and trying to axe the Portuguese machine’s top. However, it missed, sparks flying as its axe head struck the floor; CO2 vented copiously from Vulcan as it continued deflecting and pushing Zen Oh across the arena. During this time, Vulcan finally axed the top of Zen Oh, albeit without causing any major damage, and shepherded Zen Oh towards a sluggish Firefox, resulting in Zen Oh ripping one of the Indian machine's wheels. Vulcan got underneath and almost caused Firefox to overturn, before again pursuing, bumping and buffeting Zen Oh away. As it did so, it was momentarily lifted into the air by the floor rods, but drove into Zen Oh's spinner again as soon as it was lowered, seconds after the latter eliminated Firefox with a second hit.

Vulcan pins Zen Oh in the corner

Vulcan is carried over the circular saws following a hit from Zen Oh

Vulcan launches Zen Oh into the air with a head-on collision

Vulcan immobilizes Zen Oh with several axe blows

From that point, Vulcan continued its initial assault, deflecting and pushing Zen Oh into the corner as it again missed an axe blow. Pinning Zen Oh against the wall, it prevented the Portuguese machine from getting its bar spinner up to speed while trying to axe it twice more, before continuing to maneuver it into the center of the arena. However, as it turned away from Zen Oh, it was knocked sideways by the latter's bar spinner, and ended up being carried by the rising circular saws. Vulcan escaped without any significant damage, however, and proceeded to ram Zen Oh head-on, deflecting its opponent into the air. This impact appeared to disable Zen Oh’s spinner, allowing Vulcan to pin it against the spikes while repeatedly striking its top panel with its axe. Vulcan’s attacks immobilized Zen Oh completely, enabling the Team Robots Live! machine to emerge victorious.

Vulcan performs a victory dance

To the elation of Zheng Shaung, and amidst applause from the audience and other roboteers, Vulcan celebrated its win by spinning and throwing itself into a victory dance with its axe. Sam Cooper’s driving earned particular praise from her brother - and Team Spectre member - James Cooper.

"So, Sam did brilliantly in that last battle. They kept perfect control over the most dangerous robot in the arena, and kept on it all the way. So, absolutely brilliant performance, and we look forward to seeing them go further through the competition. Well done, really good!"
— James Cooper congratulates his sister Sam following Vulcan’s victory

In the Tag Team round, Vulcan was paired with Xiake, the successor to King of Bots Season 1 runner-up Chiyung Jinlun, of the Red team. Together, they fought 008 of the Yellow team and Greedy Snake of the Blue team, the second time in which Vulcan had fought the latter in a Tag Team battle.

Vulcan (center) drives into Greedy Snake as 008 is sent airborne

In the opening seconds, Vulcan darted towards Greedy Snake and 008 as both opponents drove into each other, and briefly pursued Gary Cairns’ machine across the arena before driving away. It continued circling around the arena as Xiake attacked 008, and drove into Greedy Snake, which unsuccessfully tried to lift it. In response, Vulcan pushed and chased Greedy Snake towards the edge of the pit, only to back away and drive towards the wall spikes as Greedy Snake mistakenly drove itself in.

Vulcan is grabbed and lifted by Greedy Snake as Xiake approaches

An unplanned hit from Xiake throws Vulcan into the air and damages its rear strut

Vulcan (left) axes Greedy Snake in the corner

Vulcan is held aloft by Greedy Snake

As their celebrity captains celebrated, Vulcan and Xiake waited on opposite sides of the arena for the pit to raise Greedy Snake back up. Vulcan itself was swiftly grabbed, lifted and pushed into the wall spikes by Greedy Snake, but shook free with its axe as it was being lifted forwards. Landing on Xiake, Vulcan eventually broke free from its teammate, and slammed into Greedy Snake once as the latter evaded both robots. Vulcan attempted to attack Greedy Snake again, but in doing so sustained an accidental hit from Xiake’s drum which damaged its rear strut. Another attack from Xiake ensued, before Vulcan proceeded to axe Greedy Snake twice as the latter pushed it along the wall spikes. Vulcan axed Greedy Snake again seconds after the latter knocked Xiake into the pit, only to be grabbed, lifted and thrown over the flame jets by the black and green machine. After some time, it self-righted using its axe, but struggled to land another blow on Greedy Snake as it tried to dodge the latter’s lifter. Eventually, Vulcan landed a few more blows on Greedy Snake’s top claw, but was unable to avoid getting grabbed, pushed and maneuvered towards the corner by the latter.

Vulcan tries to axe Greedy Snake's claw, but to no avail

Struggling to drive away from its remaining opponent, Vulcan was lifted again by Greedy Snake, before shaking itself free once again with its axe. It was rammed once more into the spikes as it tried to axe Greedy Snake several more times, before time ran out and the battle went to a Judges’ decision. Unsure about the rules surrounding Greedy Snake’s earlier pitting, Alan Young discussed the issue with the Xiake team, while accepting their apologies over his teammates’ defeat. However, the decision subsequently went against Vulcan and Xiake, eliminating both robots from the competition – Young proceeded to apologize to Zheng Shaung as Team Robots Live! and the Xiake team gave their farewells.

"I’m sure they’ll go on there and win the competition, and they’ll get their revenge for me going out over a win."
— Alan Young anticipates redemption from Zheng Shaung and Wu Chun following Vulcan’s elimination

Later, Vulcan received a wildcard and rejoined the competition as part of the blue team. Now as part of Zhang Yishan's team, Vulcan immediately had to defend its place on the green team from the Colombian entry, South American Eagle God.

Vulcan gets overturned by South American Eagle God's spinning disc

Vulcan slams South American Eagle God into arena spike

Vulcan punches straight through the shell of its opponent

South American Eagle God's wedge proved to be higher than that of Vulcan's, and it was immediately pushed back by the British machine. Afterwards, Vulcan edged its way up South American Eagle God's wedge, and the vertical disc threw Vulcan over. However, South American Eagle God's spinner stopped working soon after this. Vulcan then drove under South American Eagle God and slammed it into the arena wall at high speed. Vulcan was then able to land repeated axe blows, penetrating the armor of South American Eagle God.

Vulcan bends the armor of South American Eagle God

Vulcan strikes South American Eagle God's battery

Vulcan also bent South American Eagle God's armor through purely ramming into the robot. Eventually, Vulcan landed a critical blow, and punctured South American Eagle God's lithium polymer battery, while Vulcan slammed South American Eagle God into the arena wall with its axe still buried in the robot. This caused South American Eagle God to catch fire, in an immediate knockout. As a result, Vulcan defended its space on the team. After the battle, Alan Young was consulted about the prospect of Zhang Yishan driving Vulcan in a celebrity rumble, but Alan Young did not like the idea, and refused his robot's participation, forcing Greedy Snake to represent the blue team instead.

"Vulcan is a very strong robot, very fast, very difficult to control. I wasn't very happy with the idea of the celebrity driving the robot. All he has to do is make one mistake, and the robot could be destroyed."
— Alan Young on the idea of Zhang Yishan controlling his robot

Vulcan then fought the King of Bots Season 1 third place finisher Megabyte in the head-to-head rounds, after the robots were formerly in the first five members of the green team.

Vulcan's axe is disabled by Megabyte

Vulcan knocks Megabyte into the arena wall

While Megabyte powered up its spinner, Vulcan missed on its charge, failing to cease the shell spinner. When Vulcan caught up to Megabyte, it was thrown aside by the powerful spinner, and this caused Vulcan's axe to break, leaving the robot weaponless. Megabyte lingered in the corner of the arena, and Vulcan rammed it, causing Megabyte to bounce off the arena wall, and under the arena hammer, which landed on top of Megabyte's shell. This caused no real damage, and Megabyte's blades pushed Vulcan aside on its next attack. Both robots met face-to-face, and Megabyte rebounded away from Vulcan, failing to gain purchase on the arena floor until it slid back into the wall. In a series of collisions, Megabyte struck the wedge of Vulcan, bounced into a solid piece of wall next to the Grinder, and ended up on Vulcan's wedge, allowing Vulcan to push Megabyte into the arena wall, while it was at a low spinning speed. Upon this impact, a bolt sheared from Megabyte.

"During the fight, we would've liked to use the axe a lot more, but unfortunately one of the hits made a pipe come out, so we lost all of our gas, so we had no axe for the rest of the fight. I started to get very nervous about the arena weapons."
— Alan Young on the first impact of the match

Vulcan's wedge is exposed by Megabyte

Vulcan watches Megabyte cause its own knockout

Megabyte spun up once again, but struck the wedge of Vulcan, and due to the sheared bolt, Megabyte's shell did not spin again after this impact. Vulcan pushed Megabyte into the Grinder, and then held it against the arena wall. Megabyte briefly wedged under Vulcan and escaped, but Vulcan caught up and rammed it again. A similar impact took place again, and allowed Megabyte to drive under Vulcan, but lost its grip. After this, Megabyte drove straight over the floor flipper, and was immediately overturned. Vulcan made no further movements, and waited for the referee to count Megabyte out of the battle, awarding the victory to Vulcan. In celebration, Alan Young lifted Zhang Yishan into the air.

In its next battle, Vulcan fought in a rumble against Thunder and Lightning, Tungsten and Ninja.

Vulcan lands its axe upon Lightning

Vulcan and Ninja collaborate to attack Tungsten

Vulcan was immediately rammed by Lightning, but after the multibot was overturned by Ninja, Vulcan struck its base using its axe. Vulcan then privately fought Ninja whilst Tungsten immobilized Thunder, shepherding Ninja into the corner of the arena, trapping it, before ramming it into another corner. Vulcan kept up this attack, slamming into the side of Ninja's wedge, and edged it towards the Grinders, until Tungsten had finished defeating Thunder and Lightning. Suddenly, Vulcan rammed into Tungsten, and almost overturned it. Vulcan and Ninja seemingly collaborated, holding Tungsten in a corner, which allowed Vulcan to land a blow with its axe, although Ninja missed with its own attacks.

Vulcan vents gas while retracting its axe

Vulcan overturns Tungsten

When Tungsten escaped, Vulcan barged into it and landed another attack. However, it vented a large amount of gas while retracting its axe, and became trapped on Tungsten's wedge, as it was pushed into the wall, near the flaming Thunder. Vulcan and Tungsten remained within proximity of each other, until a powerful drive from Vulcan allowed the wedge shape of the robot to overturn Tungsten. After Tungsten self-righted, Vulcan continued to push back, but drove into Tungsten's spinner, and was cast into the air. Vulcan retreated, driving into a Grinder, and eventually managed to trap Ninja on the ram rods, before time expired on the battle.

On a Judges' decision, Vulcan lost the rumble to Tungsten, but it still earned a point for its team by surviving for the full match, and also qualified for the Top 8 of the competition. There, Vulcan faced an American shell spinner for the second time, in battle with Shrederator Tiger Claw.

"Fighting a really strong wedge, and you just can't break him, you have to make sure they don't keep control, and that's the key."
— Brian Nave

Vulcan and Shrederator Tiger Claw collide

Vulcan charged towards Shrederator Tiger Claw in an effort to halt its spinning speed, and successfully trapped it in a corner, causing Shrederator Tiger Claw to rip away an arena spike. Vulcan rammed back into the front of Shrederator Tiger Claw, in a shower of sparks, and was also sent spinning away on its second ram. Shrederator Tiger Claw held its center ground, but Vulcan's next charge knocked it back into the arena wall, causing Shrederator Tiger Claw internal damage.

"We were taking the hits, every time he goes bouncing off the wall, that's him damaging himself."
— Alan Young

Vulcan upsets Shrederator Tiger Claw's balance

Upon its escape, Shrederator Tiger Claw made spinner-to-wedge contact with Vulcan and cast it aside, parking over the arena flames. Relentless, Vulcan chased after Shrederator Tiger Claw and barged into it once again, to send it flying through the air. Shrederator Tiger Claw's balance was distorted, bounding around the arena without its wheels on the floor, and Vulcan maintained control. Seizing the opportunity, Vulcan finally fired its axe for the first time, but missed its target.

"I think this is our chance, we've only got one chance to win this sort of fight, we're gonna win."
— Alan Young

Vulcan suddenly loses mobility

When Vulcan had fired its axe, it reversed away from Shrederator Tiger Claw, when suddenly, the robot stopped moving entirely, potentially stuck on debris. Spinning at top speed, Shrederator Tiger Claw kept its distance, while Alan Young reset Vulcan's transmitter in a desperate attempt to revive his machine. The referee began to count down Vulcan to its elimination, and Sa Beining joined in with the count. Vulcan was eliminated from the competition when the referee completed his ten-count, knocking out Vulcan at the Quarter-Finals stage.

King of Bots UK 2018

Vulcan smashes a wooden pallet during demonstrations at the 2018 UK International Championships

Vulcan axes Spank the Monkey

Vulcan was one of five heavyweight robots in attendance for the 2018 UK International Championships, hosted at the Insomnia 63 gaming festival. Although it did not fight, it performed demonstrations in the main featherweight arena during the final day of the event, where it showcased its active suspension system and destroyed a number of wooden pallets with its axe. In one demonstration, Vulcan caused terminal damage to Spank the Monkey, axing the retired featherweight numerous times and turning it over in the arena corner.

2019 Opening Battle

Vulcan was one of ten heavyweight robots competing in the 2019 Opening Battle, where it took part as a member of the red team. There, it fought a single head-to-head battle against the eggbeater spinner Hold Me Back.

Vulcan is immediately flipped by Hold Me Back's eggbeater

Vulcan absorbs another blow from Hold Me Back

Vulcan tries to axe Hold Me Back

Hold Me Back flips and hits Vulcan's underside

Both robots quickly met each other in the center of the arena; Vulcan reversed before being flipped over by Hold Me Back's spinner. Vulcan struggled to self-right as it skidded towards and balanced near one of the grinders, but threw itself back onto its wheels and retreated to the corner. It approached Hold Me Back again, sustaining two hits to its wedge before axing one of the Hold Me Back’s sides. Both competitors separated; Vulcan proceeded to drive around and dodge Hold Me Back before the latter clipped its wedge again. As the two machines lingered in the red corner, Vulcan reversed into the spikes and attempted to axe Hold Me Back’s weapon, but missed. Vulcan shuffled back and forth before turning and ramming its blue and pink opponent. After pushing Hold Me Back around in circles, Vulcan attempted to axe it once more; however, its axe head clipped Hold Me Back’s eggbeater, causing Vulcan to be thrown over as it sustained a hit to one of its own wheels. Despite this, Vulcan self-righted quickly, shuffling back and forth again and getting its wedge stuck on the floor as it attempted to size up another attack.

Vulcan hops after catching the pit, in an attempt to axe Hold Me Back

Vulcan axes and pushes Hold Me Back into the corner

Another head-on collision between the two competitors

Approaching Hold Me Back again, Vulcan took another blow to its wedge which sent it spinning away. Immediately, it pursued and drove around to the back of Hold Me Back, which had suddenly stopped moving in the center of the arena. Vulcan pushed Hold Me Back forwards, only to catch the gap between the pit and arena floor as it tried to axe the eggbeater spinner again. As a result, it hopped into the air, recovering by reversing and maneuvering itself behind Hold Me Back again. Vulcan proceeded to pin Hold Me Back against one of the floor rods, axing one of its weapon motors and pushing it into the corner. Upon retracting its axe, Vulcan rammed Hold Me Back again, only to bump into the spikes and slam into Hold Me Back’s weapon as it drove out of the corner. For some time, the two competitors drove around, dodged and pursued each other, until Vulcan and Hold Me Back drove head-on into each other yet again. The collision stopped Hold Me Back’s weapon from rotating; Vulcan landed another axe blow on Hold Me Back, only to get itself caught on a small hole in the arena floor. Reversing, Vulcan proceeded to charge at Hold Me Back, sliding into the wall spikes in the process.

Vulcan axes Hold Me Back, capitalizing on the latter's mobility issues

Vulcan drives itself on top of Hold Me Back

Vulcan pushes Hold Me Back into a grinder mount just after time runs out

The two competitors rammed each other head-on as they met in the center of the arena again; Vulcan attempted to line up another axe blow, only to expose its side to another hit from Hold Me Back's spinner. Vulcan drove towards the red corner before ramming and driving behind Hold Me Back again. It proceeded to push and axe Hold Me Back’s top armor several times, with Hold Me Back having suddenly lost mobility for the second time. After some time, Vulcan withdrew its attacks, maneuvering back and forth across the arena as Hold Me Back suddenly started moving again on one side. Vulcan drove behind and axed the eggbeater spinner once again, only to be knocked back by Hold Me Back’s weapon. With one of its front forks bent inwards, it raised its body and sped across the arena, eventually circling and driving over the back of Hold Me Back. Vulcan fired its axe a few more times as it was being pushed back by Hold Me Back, and slipped back onto the floor. In the closing moments, it landed three more axe blows on Hold Me Back and pushed it into one of the grinder mounts, before spinning and darting across the arena in celebration. The battle went to a Judges’ decision, which ruled in favor of Vulcan, earning it a victory for the red team.

King of Bots II (Season 2)

"Basically we were told that the warm up fights didn't mean anything, so we all refused to use our weapons (hence why they fights haven't been shown as they weren't the greatest!) But the flipper one did try a cheeky flip on us, so I threw him out of the arena for breaking the agreement! Might have been that fight we broke the arena as well."
— Alan Young on his "warm-up fight"[2]

Vulcan returned as a British representative in King of Bots II, and before filming of the full season began, Vulcan teamed up with Xiake in a "warm-up fight" against Mr Hippo and Earth Shovel. Alan Young and the other international roboteers in attendance were unhappy about their mandatory participation in a fight that was not intended to be broadcast, so in protest, he refused to fire Vulcan's flipper for most of the fight, in agreement with most other roboteers involved with the battle. However, when Earth Shovel completed a flip on Vulcan (potentially through its automatic weapon system, or a breakage of the roboteers' agreement), Vulcan took the initiative and threw Earth Shovel out of the arena, ultimately winning the battle with Xiake.

"If we fight Saber, we've got a lot of confidence. [Apollo] is one of the best robots in the country, if not the world. This is sort of an evolved version of that, so we can go in there and beat Saber."
— Alan Young's desire to defeat Saber

Vulcan made its broadcast Season 2 debut in Episode 3 where Alan Young stated that he wanted to battle Saber and avenge his loss from Season 1. Instead, Vulcan was drawn against China's most successful heavyweight Xiake, to Alan Young's concern. Nevertheless, a victory over Xiake would earn Vulcan a place on Huang Jian Xiang's team, at Xiake's expense.

"As soon as we got drawn against Xiake, we were very worried. They are one of the best robots in China, they've won a lot of fights, they've done very well in previous competitions. Of course, we believe that we can win, and beat them."
— Alan Young on his chances against Xiake

Vulcan overturns Xiake in the first ten seconds

Vulcan's wedge is scuffed by Xiake

Both robots instantly got off the mark, but Vulcan immediately showed that it had the superior wedge for this matchup, with Xiake driving head-first up the flipper of Vulcan. Although Xiake managed to reverse away in time, both robots crashed into the arena wall, and this allowed Vulcan to slip under the side of Xiake and overturn it with a powerful flip. With Xiake now inverted, it could no longer make use of its wedgelets, and its drum was spinning the wrong way to cause major damage, although it still chipped away at the HARDOX armor of Vulcan when the two next made contact, with Vulcan also missing its opportunity to flip Xiake.

Vulcan throws Xiake onto the arena wall

Vulcan succeeds in throwing Xiake out of the arena

Immediately after this, Vulcan found an opportunity to slide under Xiake and throw it towards the corner of the arena, where Xiake delicately balanced on top of the arena wall. Xiake was able to drive down from the arena wall, but could not escape the corner before Vulcan drove back under the drum of Xiake, and flipped it forwards so that Xiake slotted perfectly behind the arena wall. As a result, Vulcan won the match by knockout in just over two minutes, and took Xiake's place on Huang Jian Xiang's team. Vulcan celebrated by driving in circles in the center of the arena, firing its flipper in delight, and drifting donuts around the arena floor.

"We just wanted to try and flip them over, and once they were over, leave them upside-down, because when they're upside down, their weapon doesn't work as well. We wanted to try to keep them in the corner, which is what we did, and then hopefully we're going to flip them, which again, we managed to do."
— Alan Young

Moving into the next round, Alan Young was nominated to be the leader of Huang Jian Xiang's team, captaining the roster which also contained Xiake, Deep-Sea Shark, Flaming Wheel, and Thunder. In Vulcan's first fight on this team, it joined forces with Xiake to fight Doraemon and Emerald in a two-on-two fight.

Vulcan turns Emerald over

Vulcan chucks Doraemon back

Vulcan initially took a back-seat, allowing Xiake to land two strong blows on Doraemon, until Vulcan used this opportunity to slide under Emerald and throw it over. This caused Emerald's front armor to buckle in the process, and Emerald became stuck on its own front wedge briefly. Doraemon was slowly creeping across the arena while trying to spin up to speed, but Vulcan drove straight under it and blasted Doraemon into the corner of the arena.

Vulcan flips Doraemon out of the arena

Vulcan attempts to flip Emerald out of the arena but secures the knockout

Vulcan followed up its assault by throwing Doraemon onto the sloped arena wall, and afterwards, flipped it over the wall in the corner of the arena for an instant knockout. Vulcan and Xiake were then able to double-team Doraemon, with Xiake shaving sparks from Emerald. Xiake managed to pin Emerald under the arena flipper until Vulcan then caught up and tossed it backwards. Emerald laid inverted by the arena corner, and Vulcan attempted to flip it out, but there was no more room with Doraemon already sitting outside the arena. Nevertheless, Emerald could not self-right, and it was counted out, awarding the victory to Vulcan and Xiake, earning an overall win for Huang Jian Xiang.

In the next round, all of the team captains fought head-to-head, allowing Vulcan to claim its long-awaited rematch against Saber.

Vulcan launches Saber towards the Grinder

Vulcan throws Saber out of the arena, but Saber falls back in

Vulcan initiated the Season 1 rematch by slightly wedging under the front of Saber, edging it towards the wall, from which Saber sped away - but Vulcan caught up and flipped it from behind, throwing it across the arena. Saber landed directly onto a Grinder for a painful landing, although this did put Saber back on its wheels. On its own charge, Saber drove straight under the front end of Vulcan, but mistimed its flip, and turned itself over. Although Saber self-righted, Vulcan was already pushing it from behind, and used this chance to blast Saber into the corner of the arena. Had there been more room in this section of the arena, Saber would have been thrown out of the arena for an instant KO, but it instead bounced off the outer wall, and landed on top of the arena barrier before tumbling back in. Saber fired its flipper in an attempt to self-right, but instead bounced high into the air and landed inverted again.

Vulcan continues to dominate Saber

Vulcan throws Saber towards its own team

Saber self-righted more effectively with a follow-up flip, but Vulcan had already positioned itself under Saber, and threw it upwards again, clipping the Grinder on its way down and still landed inverted. Saber finally put itself back onto its wheels after this attack, while Vulcan was thrown off-guard by the intervening floor flipper. With Saber mostly spinning in place, Vulcan drove underneath it easily, and again launched Saber across the arena, causing it to hit the wall near the referee. Saber made its escape, but rode up the front wedge of Vulcan on its next attempt at an attack, and was chucked back into the wall where it had just come from.

Vulcan is flicked up by Saber

Vulcan's repeated flips cause Saber's side panel to fall off

At this stage, Saber was at a huge deficit, but it was finally able to slot its forks under the side of Vulcan and flicked the British machine up, but not over. Vulcan, however, was relatively unaffected and instantly responded with a combo of two back-to-back flips, which still ended with Saber landing back on Vulcan's wedge. Saber attempted to flip itself free, but instead shook off its own side armor, and overturned itself again. The two robots separated, but Saber again drove up the front wedge of Vulcan, exposing itself to another flip. Both robots fired their flippers wildly in the final few seconds, with Vulcan completing its ninth flip on Saber in the process, when time expired on the battle. The resulting Judges' decision went resoundingly in the favor of Vulcan and Huang Jian Xiang.

Vulcan and Huang Jian Xiang would then take on Di Yang and his representative, Boxing Champion.

Vulcan throws Boxing Champion across the arena

Vulcan takes a hit from Boxing Champion

Both robots came together in the center of the arena, although it seemed that Boxing Champion had the lower wedge, forcing Vulcan to try and slip around the sides. It was initially unsuccessful, breaching only under a single wedgelet of Boxing Champion, and misfiring up with no target on its flipper. Boxing Champion responded by charging straight into Vulcan, but rode up its wedge and was forced to retreat. Vulcan followed this up by sliding under Boxing Champion and tossing it across the arena, causing it to bump into the Grinder upon its rough landing. Regardless, Boxing Champion turned in place to deliver its weapon into the side of Vulcan when the British machine caught up, also lightly connecting with the lip of Vulcan's flipper while it misfired again.

Vulcan avoids the spinner of Boxing Champion

Vulcan's knockout flip on Boxing Champion

Vulcan was edged back across the arena, and once again fired its flipper largely at thin air, throwing itself over while only briefly lifting its opponent. This forced Vulcan to self-right, which it did by powerfully launching itself across the arena, making a relatively clean getaway. However, Boxing Champion remained in control, pressuring Vulcan into yet another missed flip while it was also raised by the floor flipper. Despite this, even when it drove directly under the front of Vulcan, Boxing Champion could not bring its weapon into play. The two fought tentatively, unable to use their weapons until Vulcan finally completed its second successful flip of the match. Boxing Champion landed right-side up, but did not escape in time, and Vulcan tossed it over. Unable to self-right, Boxing Champion was counted out while taking damage from the arena saws, and Vulcan continued its winning streak.

Vulcan then had the opportunity to knock Di Yang's team out of the tournament if it could defeat Cracked Sword.

Vulcan rams Cracked Sword into the spikes

Two successive flips see Vulcan throw Cracked Sword into the grinders and break its opponent's spinner

Immediately, it darted across the arena to face Cracked Sword, which slalomed its way out of the blue corner to dodge Vulcan's charge. In turn, Vulcan dodged a lunge from Cracked Sword, which resulted in the dark green machine speeding towards one of the control booths. This allowed Vulcan to follow, drive underneath and push Cracked Sword into the wall spikes; the recoil caused Cracked Sword to flip, lose a wheel and sustain damage to its own bar spinner.

Vulcan throws Cracked Sword into the corner

Cracked Sword is tossed out of the arena

With its opponent's weapon and mobility severely hampered, Vulcan continued to pressure Cracked Sword, twice flipping it into the grinders and snapping Cracked Sword's spinner in half. It drove to the far side of the arena while Cracked Sword tried unsuccessfully to get the remains of its weapon spinning again; moments later, it scooped, shepherded and threw Cracked Sword around in the corner. Vulcan proceeded to steer Cracked Sword towards one of the grinders, before throwing it a few more times in an attempt to get its ailing opponent out of the arena. Eventually, it threw Cracked Sword against and over the side wall, eliminating the Chinese machine instantly.

"[Cracked Sword] joined the fight even though he had a lot of damage, he couldn’t drive properly and his weapon had more or less stopped. He was still trying to move and he was still trying to fight. We got him in the corner, and once I got him in the corner, I knew I just wanted him out of the arena."
— Alan Young, commenting on Cracked Sword's perseverance

With yet another victory, and Di Yang's team directly eliminated at Vulcan's hands, Huang Jian Xiang's team advanced to the final tournament against Ye Hong Li. Vulcan was the final robot to fight on behalf of Huang Jian Xiang's team, which had fallen slightly behind in the Attrition War following the loss of all four teammates preceding Vulcan. Requiring two consecutive victories to win the series, Vulcan faced a daunting opponent in Spectre.

"Go Alan, go!"
— Huang Jian Xiang

Spectre gets an early attack on Vulcan

Vulcan flips Spectre over

Vulcan throws Spectre a great distance towards the grinders

Spectre bites down behind Vulcan's wedge

The two British competitors came to blows almost immediately, with Spectre grabbing Vulcan from the side and driving it into the wall spikes. Vulcan maneuvered itself into the corner and dodged another lunge from Spectre, reversing, driving underneath and flipping the silver machine onto its back. Spectre self-righted, but Vulcan threw it again almost immediately, this time onto one of the grinders, but slid off before being launched a third time. While Vulcan was clipped by the same grinder, Spectre sped away, ramming Vulcan head-on before biting down on the space between its wedge and left wheels.

Spectre rams Vulcan into the spikes at great speed

Spectre spins Vulcan around in the blue corner

Vulcan flips itself and Spectre over

Vulcan waits while Spectre is counted out

Spectre twice rammed Vulcan into the wall spikes before the competitors separated, only to grab the right-hand side of Vulcan’s wedge and spin it around several times in the blue corner. This attack culminated in Vulcan being slammed into the red corner and another set of wall spikes, the second slam causing Spectre to let go. Spectre rammed Vulcan again before both robots were lifted by a floor flipper. Following this distraction, Vulcan got underneath Spectre once more, flipping itself and the Season 1 champion over in the process. While Vulcan self-righted immediately, it became clear that Spectre was stranded on its side, its srimech unable to gain contact with the arena floor.

Spectre attempted to drive on its right-hand wheels and move its crusher, but to no avail. Soon, it was counted out, relinquishing its King of Bots title and allowing Vulcan to fight for Huang Jian Xiang one last time.

Huang Jian Xiang: "How was that plan?"
Alan Young: "We could’ve won it a bit easier!"
Huang Jian Xiang: "Now, relax! Nice and easy… nice and easy."
— Post-battle discussions between Huang Jian Xiang and Alan Young

With Spectre defeated, Vulcan remained in the arena to fight Drift, despite its CO2 supply or battery power not being replenished between bouts and its removable link housing being damaged in the previous encounter. A victory for either machine and their captains would make them the King of Bots II champions.

Huang Jian Xiang: "As long as you don’t make any mistake."
Alan Young: "Yeah, just play this one very carefully."
Huang Jian Xiang: "Yeah, because he has no weapon to hurt you, so… patient, one or two clear hit…"
Alan Young: "Yeah."
Huang Jian Xiang: "…you can wait for him to come to you. Okay?"
— Huang Jian Xiang and Alan Young discuss their strategy against Drift

Vulcan is outwedged by Drift early on

Vulcan throws Drift towards the red corner

Vulcan is hooked by Drift’s lifter

Vulcan sustains damage from one of the grinders

Vulcan began by ramming the side of Drift, only to rear up and spin away. It continued to do so before Drift drove underneath its front end twice, but finally scooped Drift up when Ye Hong Li’s machine caught a set screw between the circular saws. Seconds later, Vulcan chased, pushed and threw Drift at great height into the red corner, though not without driving itself into the corner spikes in the process. Vulcan bumped Drift once more before charging head-on, rearing up against Drift’s wedge and lifting arm. Immediately after, Drift pushed and tipped Vulcan against the wall spikes; as the Chinese machine reversed, its lifting arm hooked Vulcan between its wedge and left wheels.

Vulcan is turned over as Drift overbalances

Vulcan launches over the top of Drift

Having been suspended off the arena floor, Vulcan fired its flipper twice to try and break free from Drift’s weapon, but could not do so. In the meantime, Drift dragged and pushed it into the grinders a few times, causing considerable damage to Vulcan’s pipework, while also briefly lifting the UK machine up. A second lift from Drift turned Vulcan completely over; however, this caused Drift to overbalance, allowing Vulcan to throw itself into a grinder and free itself at last. Despite this, Vulcan was flicked upwards by the grinder and pressured further by Drift, which self-righted by driving on its rear wheels. Vulcan lured Drift across the arena, but again could not find a way to get underneath its red, black and white opponent before being steered into the red corner.

Vulcan tosses Drift for the second time

Drift stacks Vulcan against the wall spikes

Vulcan is pushed back into the blue corner

Vulcan sends Drift into a 360 degree flip

Another head-on ram ensued, which resulted in Vulcan being driven under and steered back by Drift along the arena perimeter. Speeding away, Vulcan turned around and launched over the top of Drift, which attempted to respond with another head-on charge, but glanced off Vulcan’s wedge into the wall spikes. Vulcan took advantage by flipping Drift a second time, though with considerably less force than before. The two competitors continued bumping and nudging each other for some time, resulting in Vulcan losing one of its damaged pipes and being shoved into the blue corner. Following more unsuccessful attempts to exploit Drift’s front ground clearance, Vulcan was pushed and flipped against the wall spikes again, but drove away. It kept bumping and dodging Drift before being shoved back into the blue corner, where it fired its flipper to throw itself out of Drift’s reach.

Drift is flipped again by Vulcan, this time following intervention from a floor flipper

Vulcan almost throws Drift out of the arena

Again, Vulcan drove over the top of Drift, before finally getting underneath and flipping its opponent from the front. Vulcan attempted to flip Drift again near the grinders, but missed, only to lure the Chinese machine across the arena and bump it towards a floor flipper. The flipper lifted Drift upwards, allowing Vulcan to throw it onto its back. As Drift re-righted, Vulcan pressured it into the blue corner before throwing Drift on top of the wall. Having come close to ejecting Drift from the arena, it turned around and flipped Ye Hong Li’s machine again in the dying seconds, just as Drift managed to free itself from the spikes. Drift self-righted immediately as time ran out, with both robots surviving to a Judges’ decision.

Following a tense and closely fought final battle, the decision ruled in favor of Vulcan, allowing it to secure the King of Bots II championship for Huang Jian Xiang and his team. During the closing victory celebrations, Alan Young lifted the trophy, appeared in a selfie and was thrust into the air by his teammates along with Xiang. In a post-battle interview, Young also commented on the improving standard of Chinese robots competing in this season.


King of Bots (Season 1)
Main Championship
First Round
Round 1 vs. Saber Lost
Tag Team
Partnered with Tánshè
Tag Team vs. Greedy Snake & Saber Won
This is Fighting Robots (Season 1.5)
Main Championship
Episode 4, Rumble vs. Firefox, Zen Oh Won
Episode 5, 2v2 (with Xiake) vs. 008, Greedy Snake Lost
NOTE: Zhang Yishan later won a head-to-head battle with another robot, allowing him to reinstate Vulcan as part of the blue team.
Challenger Round vs. South American Eagle God Won
Episode 8, 1v1 vs. Megabyte Won
Episode 9, Rumble vs. Ninja, Thunder and Lightning, Tungsten Lost
Quarter-Final vs. Shrederator Tiger Claw Lost
King of Bots (2019 Opening Battle)
2019 Opening Battle
Part of Red team
Head-to-Head vs. Hold Me Back Won
King of Bots II (Season 2)
Main Competition
Part of Huang Jian Xiang's team
Challenger Round vs. Xiake Won
Episode 6, 2v2 (with Xiake) vs. Doraemon & Emerald Won
Episode 7, 1v1 vs. Saber Won
Episode 9, 1v1 vs. Boxing Champion Won
Episode 11, 1v1 vs. Cracked Sword Won
Final Attrition War vs. Spectre Won
Final Attrition War vs. Drift Won
Warm-Up Fights
Partnered with Xiake in 2v2
2v2 (with Xiake) vs. Earth Shovel & Mr Hippo Won


  • Wins: 12
  • Losses: 4

NOTE: Vulcan's Warm-Up Fight from Season 2 is not included.

Series Record

Series Vulcan Series Record
Season 1 Round 1
(0-1 record)
Season 1.5 Quarter-Final
(3-3 record)
Season 2 Huang Jian Xiang's team, joint champion
(7-0 record)
  • NOTE 1: Alan Young entered the UK Featherweight Championship 2018 with Rocket.
  • NOTE 2: Season 1 team member Kevin Cleasby entered Season 1.5 and Season 2 with Switch, and the UK Featherweight Championship 2018 with Microswitch.

Outside King of Bots

Vulcan at the Robots Live! Stevenage event in September 2018

In September 2018, Vulcan attended the Robots Live! event in Stevenage alongside the team's featherweight Rocket and Robot Wars competitor Apollo. During the Stevenage event, Vulcan convincingly won a whiteboard battle by immobilising Puck and Meggamouse with its axe, but lost another to Sandstorm after being pushed and getting stuck against the wall. Vulcan has appeared at every Robots Live! event since, but would only participate in whiteboard battles against Apollo, doing so in all three shows of each weekend's event. Vulcan also attended the first RoboNerd meet in Wolverhampton later the same month, alongside Spectre and a variety of former Robot Wars competitors.


All three members of Team Robots Live! have competed on the British TV show Robot Wars. Alan Young was directly involved with the build process of Apollo, which won the eighth series of the show after defeating Carbide in the Grand Final - a clip of this was broadcast during King of Bots. After winning the eighth series, Apollo reached the Grand Final through a wildcard after losing to Carbide, and ultimately finished in joint fifth place. In the tenth series, Alan Young appeared on the team for the first time, but Apollo fell in the Heat Final to Behemoth. Regardless, Apollo won the first episode of the spin-off Robot Wars: World Series, with assistance from its British teammates.

Alan Young and his brother Dave Young had also competed on Robot Wars with robots in lower weight classes, including Gladiator and its successor G2, Alpha, Chroma, and Hades. The team also competed in the pilot episode for Series 8 with Merlin and Monte.

In February 2020, Team Robots Live! (under the name Team Apollo) were confirmed to be entering that year's season of BattleBots with Orion. Armed with a flipper (officially described as a 'launcher'), Orion features many design similarities with Apollo and the Season 2 Vulcan, combining the latter's shape and four-wheel drive system with a white and black paint scheme.[3] However, Team Apollo would later withdraw due to travel restrictions and safety concerns brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.[4]


Ed Wallace initially won the same pilot episode with his robot Turbulence, which was the UK heavyweight champion in the 2006 live circuit. Wallace later competed on TV in Series 10, with his robot Apocalypse, which was defeated by Apollo and Sabretooth.

Kevin Cleasby is a member of Team Make Robotics, who had competed with Behemoth since the second series of the show. Cleasby himself first appeared as a team member in the eighth series, in 2016. For more information on Kevin Cleasby, see Switch.

Alan Young also competed on Techno Games with a middleweight, Blazer, but lost its assault course race to Bugs Bunny. Team Robots Live were in attendance at the filming of the 2015 season of BattleBots, with their robot Chronic, a full-pressure flipper much like Apollo. The robot was a reserve, and ultimately did not compete on the show, losing a battle to Swamp Thing in a test battle only. Alan Young appeared as a televised competitor in the following season with Photon Storm, which lost in the first round to Minotaur.

The team also participated in Scrapheap Challenge, competing in the Giant Archery competition at the Scrapheap Challenge Roadshow at 2007 Bodelwyddan Medieval Festival. There, they competed as The Robot Warriors, and narrowly missed out on a place in the final.

Team Robots Live! take their name for the touring live event founded by Alan Young, Robots Live!, which became active during the hiatus of Robot Wars, and has continued to run since, hosting the FRA (Fighting Robots Association) UK Championship each year. Kevin Cleasby is an organizer of the Fighting Robots Association.



Vulcan Vs Saber - King of Bots 1st Round - Onboard Camera

  • Before settling on Vulcan, the robot was originally planned to be named Excalibur[5], a theme used by Vulcan's opponent Saber.
  • Vulcan was originally intended to be painted red, before the black color scheme was chosen.
  • Although Vulcan was declared the joint champion of Season 2 alongside Deep-Sea Shark, Xiake, Thunder and Shrederator Tiger Claw, it is often considered to be the individual champion of the series, due to its undefeated run in King of Bots II closing out with the final battle of the series over Drift.


External Links