- "We are Vulcan, and we're ready for anyone in the arena"
- — Alan Young
Vulcan was a heavyweight robot from the United Kingdom which competed in Season 1 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 has enjoyed varying degrees of success. In Season 1, it 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 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.
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 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.
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.
King of Bots (Season 1)Edit
- "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. 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. 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 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.
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)Edit
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.
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.
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.
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. 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.
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.
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. 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 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. 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
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 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.
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 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
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
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.
|VULCAN - RESULTS|
|Round 1||vs. Saber||Lost|
Partnered with Tánshè
|Tag Team||vs. Greedy Snake & Saber||Won|
|This is Fighting Robots (Season 1.5)|
|Rumble||vs. Firefox, Zen Oh||Won|
|Tag Team (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 green team.|
|Challenger Round||vs. South American Eagle God||Won|
|Rumble||vs. Ninja, Thunder and Lightning, Tungsten||Lost|
|Quarter-Final||vs. Shrederator Tiger Claw||Lost|
- Wins: 4
- Losses: 4
|Series||Vulcan Series Record|
|Season 1||Round 1|
|Season 1.5|| Quarter-Final|
Entered with Switch (Kevin Cleasby)
Outside King of BotsEdit
Vulcan also appeared at the King of Bots UK featherweight championship in August 2018, to demonstrate the power of heavyweight robots. After destroying wooden pallets for the audience, Vulcan was able to retire Spank the Monkey by destroying the featherweight machine. In September 2018, it 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 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.
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.
- Before settling on Vulcan, the robot was originally planned to be named Excalibur, a theme used by Vulcan's opponent Saber.
- Vulcan was originally intended to be painted red, before the black color scheme was chosen.
- ↑ https://www.facebook.com/vulcanrobot/videos/160918694495032/?comment_id=161046064482295&reply_comment_id=161097451143823&comment_tracking=%7B%22tn%22%3A%22R3%22%7D
- ↑ https://www.facebook.com/vulcanrobot/posts/183887988864769?comment_id=183889205531314&reply_comment_id=183889742197927¬if_id=1515437332882472¬if_t=feed_comment_reply