Cassius was a competitor robot that competed in the second and third series of Robot Wars. Named after the late legendary boxer Cassius Clay (later known as Muhammad Ali), it was a wedge-shaped robot from Stowmarket in Suffolk. Cassius reached the Grand Final in Series 2, where it placed second overall after being pitted by Panic Attack in the final battle, a major upset in the eyes of many. In both series, Cassius was intended to be in one of the earlier heats of Robot Wars, but technical difficulties caused it to be pushed back towards the latter end of the series.
Although not the first robot to attempt it, Cassius was the first robot to successfully utilise a self-righting mechanism, or srimech, in Robot Wars. When Sir Killalot flipped it over during the Pinball trial, Cassius used its flipping arm to throw itself back over onto its wheels, allowing it to score some more points. Cassius repeated this during its Grand Final battle against Roadblock. This was the first time a self-righting mechanism was used to allow a machine to continue, and ultimately win, a battle. After this, the srimech became something of a Robot Wars essential.
Cassius was created by former children's TV presenter and inventor Rex Garrod, whose claim to fame was designing the famous car Brum, that had its own television show for a number of years, as well as being the co-presenter of the TV show The Secret Life of Machines. He was considered by most one of the greatest sportsmen in the history of Robot Wars, and would prefer to attack a house robot rather than a competitor that had already been beaten, on many occasions diverting the attention of the house robots away from the defeated competitor by attacking them himself.
Robot History Edit
Cassius began its Robot Wars début as the fifth seed for the Second Wars, due to the impressive performance of Rex Garrod's previous machine, the Series 1 Grand Finalist Recyclopse. Jonathan Pearce himself mentioned that amongst the roboteers, Cassius was dubbed the competition favourite.
Cassius was originally meant to take part in the first "half" of the Second Wars, but mechanical problems forced it into a later heat, allowing Panda Monium to take part in Robot Wars: The Second Wars/Heat A. In the Gauntlet, Cassius easily darted straight past the Sentinel and then reached the endzone, despite being grabbed the claws of Dead Metal, who Cassius effortlessly brushed aside to claim the fastest run in the heat, putting it at the top of the leaderboard overall, easily putting it through to the Trial stage of the heat.
In this heat, the trial was Football. For the Trial, Cassius had been equipped with a basic plastic shovel to assist it in controlling the ball. Cassius was first to the ball, but was attacked by Matilda, who lifted Cassius' wheels off the ground, allowing Loco to steal possession and score. When the Trial recommenced, Cassius was again fastest to the ball, but this time the ball deflected off Wizard. Cassius then backed the ball onto the edge of the arena, and bumped it along the wall. At one point, Cassius was lifted up off its wheels after the nose got stuck on the top of the ball, but Matilda helped it down. Cassius made further progress down the side, but again Matilda halted its progress. Matilda bumped the ball away, but Cassius caught it and nudged it past Sergeant Bash into the goal.
Cassius went up against Wizard in the heat semi-final, and at the start of the battle showed no interest in attacking Wizard, choosing instead to attack Dead Metal, and succeeding in getting underneath the House Robot. Cassius had the clear power advantage, and pushed Wizard into the PPZ with ease early on in the battle. With Wizard showing no more signs of movement, Cassius went after the incoming house robots to protect the immobilised Wizard machine. Cassius made the most ground on attacking the gargantuan Sir Killalot, who weighed more than four times that of Cassius, although he also took on Sergeant Bash. Cease was soon called and Cassius was through to the Heat Final, and it was drawn against Loco.
During this battle, it was surprisingly Loco who got the first shove in, but soon the favourite Cassius took control of the battle, attacking and getting underneath Loco, before spinning away and returning to push it again. Then, the two robots charged at each other, and with a small flip from the ram, Loco was turned over and rendered immobile. True to his word, Cassius did no more with Loco, choosing instead to attack the House Robots, first exacting revenge on Dead Metal on Loco's behalf, before the House Robots left Loco alone, to focus on Cassius. Matilda fired her spark shooter, and then dragged Cassius into the arena centre, but Rex Garrod spun away, only to charge head on at the House Robots, getting underneath Dead Metal, and then flipping Matilda, following in the footsteps of Garrod's previous machine, Recyclopse. Shunt and Sergeant Bash then finally defeated Cassius, knocking it into the pit. With this, Cassius had qualified for the Semi-finals.
In the Series Semi-Final Gauntlet, Cassius took the centre route, and charged through the brick wall, pushing the sphere into the pit as well, but was then pushed back by Shunt. It spent the rest of the time trying to pass Shunt again, but soon Shunt was joined by Dead Metal, and together they stopped Rex Garrod's progress, ultimately ending its run by wedging it onto a pile of bricks. The distance of 5.15 metres was sufficient to pass through to the Trial after beating the distances set by Haardvark and Plunderbird 2, the latter of which fell at this stage.
Cassius then went on to score 200 points in the Pinball, by smashing down bricks and barrels. Midway through, Cassius got stuck on a brick, allowing Killalot to hook his lance underneath Cassius and pick it up, dumping it down at the other end of the arena, upside down. It was here that Cassius made its name in Robot Wars history. Firing its ram, it flew into the air, landing right side up, and allowing it to continue to score points, knocking more bricks and barrels down, until a track dislodged, immobilising Cassius.
By now, Cassius had become the favourites to win the Series since the demise of Mortis in the first Semi-Final. In the arena stage, Cassius was pitted up against Haardvark. Due to Haardvark's quite high ground clearance, Cassius tossed its opponent over with the first flip, but Cassius righted it. Cassius flipped Haardvark once again, and Shunt axed the top of it. Haardvark then nudged Cassius into Sir Killalot, and when the House Robot picked Cassius up, it could be seen that the drive chain had dislodged again. Sir Killalot then turned its attention to Haardvark, picking it up and grilling it over the flame pit. Cassius then took on Killalot again, nearly lifting the House Robot. Shunt pinned Cassius up against the wall as cease was called. Cassius was victorious, and through to the Grand Final.
Cassius was drawn against the reigning champions, Roadblock, in the Grand Final eliminator. Roadblock got beneath Cassius and pushed it a short distance. Cassius got stuck on the side of Roadblock, but fell off after driving round in circles. Cassius was then turned over by Sir Killalot again, and it used its pneumatic ram to flip itself back onto its wheels, allowing it to continue the fight. Meanwhile, Roadblock had got stuck in the PPZ. Cassius came in, got underneath Roadblock, and turned it onto its side for the win.
In the Grand Final, Cassius got under Panic Attack but could not flip it. On the second attempt at driving at each other, Panic Attack drove straight over Cassius, landing on its wheels. Cassius briefly attacked Dead Metal to escape, having been pushed into the House Robot by Panic Attack. The robots drove around, and then Panic Attack charged Cassius from the side, knocking it into the pit to claim the title.
After the main competition of the Second Wars, Mortis and Cassius took part in a special Grudge match, which Mortis won due to Cassius accidentally driving into the pit after trying to pit Mortis, who was stranded on the side of the pit with a broken track. Even still, Mortis was pushed into the pit afterwards by Shunt, before the overturned Cassius fired its ram from the bottom of the pit to push Mortis back out. After the fight ended, the Mortis team tried to have the match restarted, as they felt that they hadn't won, due to losing a track and Cassius driving into the pit. However, a rematch never took place.
The first round for the newly-built Cassius 2 was a grudge match against Dundee, who entered Loco in the Second Wars. In this fight the robots started this battle by trading minor bumps and scrapes, before Cassius drove into Sir Killalot, but the House Robot let Cassius go. Cassius then rammed Dundee from the sides, but was unable to get underneath the crocodile. When Cassius eventually did get underneath Dundee, there was not enough of the machine underneath Dundee to flip it, instead the flip shoved Dundee into the hands of Sir Killalot, but once again the House Robot let its adversary escape. After moving the confrontation into the centre of the arena, Cassius then finally got underneath Dundee, and threw it clean over, and out of the competition. After dispatching Dundee, it then drove off and attacked Matilda, dislodging the house robot's rear armour in the process before being itself attacked by Shunt, who axed straight through the flipper and pierced a large hole in the top of it. After Cassius 2 fired the flipper in a counter-attack, Shunt then took advantage of Cassius 2's ground clearance to push it backwards against the wall with its scoop, lifting it up and causing its wedge to point into the air. Cease was soon called and Cassius 2 was through to the next round of the heat.
The second round saw Cassius 2 get put up against the equally experienced Cold Fusion Team, with Pussycat. This was in fact technically a grudge match, as the two teams had met previously, but they had interacted little on that occasion. Cassius 2 started quickly and immediately smashed into Pussycat, knocking it over. The two traded small pushes and barges, Pussycat attacking the back of Cassius until eventually Pussycat attacked and bounced over Cassius 2, to which Cassius 2 then responded by using its new pneumatic spike, knocking Pussycat back a short distance. It then powerfully reversed at Pussycat in an attempt to ram it into the pit, but the feline-themed robot drove out of the way, causing Cassius 2 to overshoot and drive backwards into the pit instead. The pneumatic anti-pit spike was not able to work at this point because it fell in at the wrong angle, landing with its wedge and sloped back wedged sideways against the edge. This shock elimination of the previous series' runner-up was one of the most major upsets in the Third Wars.
Cassius 2 was intended to represent England in the Third Wars International League Championship, but was unable to compete, so Razer fought - and won - in its place.
Rex Garrod harboured his disagreements for some of the Robot Wars rules (see Garrod's Protest), this was the reason he did not return after Series 3.
|UK Robot Wars Series 2 (Seeded 5th)||Heat H||Gauntlet||N/A||Completed (1st)|
|Trials - Football||N/A||Scored 2nd (Qualified)|
|Semi-Final 2||Gauntlet||N/A||5.15m - 4th Place (Qualified)|
|Trial - Pinball||N/A||200pts - 2nd Place (Qualified)|
|Grudge Matches||Judgement Day||Mortis||Lost|
|UK Robot Wars Series 3||Heat M||Round 1||Dundee||Won|
- Wins: 9
- Losses: 3