Roadblock (also spelled Road Block) was a robot that competed in the British television game show Robot Wars. The robot had a wedge made from several road signs with a petrol-powered circular saw attached to the back with tungsten tipped teeth. The team also had a square shaped saw blade but never used it. The signs were originally going to be painted over, but time ran out. However, the BBC liked the look of the road signs, and the look was kept.
The original robot had steel armour, but this was later replaced by more lightweight aluminium in Series 2. Roadblock was also completely rebuilt internally for this war, with its wheelchair motors and other electronics moved to the front and a new chassis was made from a more up-to-date wheelchair. It became particularly notable for its two-tone police sirens throughout said war, which sounded whenever it went on the attack.
The robot competed in the first and second series of Robot Wars, winning the first series and finishing third in the second series. It was constructed by Hender Blewitt and Chris Kinsey, who were Systems & Control students at Bodmin Community College, and Peter Kinsey, their teacher.
Today, having not been used for several years, the Series 1 champion is mounted on the wall in Peter Kinsey's garage.
Robot History[edit | edit source]
Series 1[edit | edit source]
Roadblock competed in Heat A of the First Wars, and was the first robot ever seen on the televised show as it was the first to be introduced, and to run the Gauntlet. In its run, Roadblock attempted to go over the ramp, but the Cornish machine missed and took the House Robots route instead. Roadblock was able to easily outmanoeuvre all of the house robots and reached the end of the course in the third quickest time of the heat, after Grunt's and Nemesis' speedy runs, this comfortably put Roadblock through to the trial stage of the heat.
In the Sumo Trial, Roadblock was able to get underneath house robot Shunt and shoved it out of the ring. However, because it drove off the ring with Shunt immediately afterwards, Roadblock was only placed third on the leaderboard. Therefore, this was enough for the Bodmin Community College team to progress to the arena stage of the heat.
In the Heat Semi-Final, Roadblock was placed up against Nemesis, who was suffering from a burnt out speed controller. Roadblock used its saw weapon to cut up the polka-dot fur of the Irish machine, and its side armour was pierced by the pneumatic spike of Nemesis at one point. Nemesis was then approached and attacked by house robot Sergeant Bash as Roadblock pushed Nemesis towards Sergeant Bash's CPZ, and the fur was set on fire as a result. Cease was immediately called, and Roadblock was automatically given the win, putting it through to the final round of the heat. In the Heat Final, Roadblock was placed up against Killertron.
In this battle, Roadblock's armour easily withstood the attacks from Killertron's overhead axe weapon, so it was given time to work up an attack. Roadblock was unable to offensively attack, until late on in the battle, when Killertron eventually drove up onto Roadblock's wedge, and got stuck. Roadblock began to steer around, with a combination of this manoeuvre and Dead Metal ramming into Roadblock causing the Killertron to topple over onto its back. Killertron was unable to self-right, so cease was then called, meaning that Roadblock progressed to the Grand Final.
The Grand Final saw Roadblock placed up against Rex Garrod's Recyclopse, Team Chaos' Robot The Bruce, Cunning Plan from the University of Reading, Team Cold Fusion's Bodyhammer and the winners of the final heat T.R.A.C.I.E. in a six-way melee. In the battle, Roadblock held back for a brief while as T.R.A.C.I.E. and Recyclopse bashed into each other. After Cunning Plan and T.R.A.C.I.E. then immobilised each other by colliding awkwardly, Roadblock got underneath Recyclopse and pushed it around the arena, this eventually causing Recyclopse's chain to become broken, leaving the machine immobilised and out of the running. Almost immediately afterwards, Robot The Bruce then charged head-on into Roadblock, and drove too far up the wedge of the Cornish machine, and was tipped onto its side, and therefore immobilised. This left only Bodyhammer still running along Roadblock, Roadblock swooped in behind Bodyhammer and began pushing it around the arena, using its scoop to guide it towards the arena side wall, before cease was called, resulting in a judges' decision. The decision went in favour of Roadblock, making the Cornish machine officially the First Wars Grand Champion.
Series 2[edit | edit source]
Roadblock returned to Robot Wars as the number 1 seed to defend its title in The Second Wars. The robot was stripped down completely and rebuilt in readiness for this series, and participated in Heat G of the main competition. In the Gauntlet stage of the heat, Roadblock proved fairly sluggish, but still eventually managed to reach the end, placing it first on the leaderboard, easily putting it through to the trial stage of the heat, which for this heat was Skittles.
In the trial, Roadblock managed to use its scoop to get under the barrels and eventually finished the trial with a very respectable 34 skittles knocked over. However, problems arose when veterans Nemesis and newcomers Killerhurtz and Onslaught all scored more points, putting Roadblock in danger of elimination
However, Roadblock was saved from an early exit when Limpet was only able to knock down 23 skittles, as Team 13 Black's machine lacked the power and grunt required for the trial.
Roadblock was put through to the Arena stage of the heat, and was placed up against Killerhurtz in the heat Semi-Final. Roadblock made up for its poor Skittles run by reversing into its opponent and cutting into one of Killerhurtz's motors with its saw weapon. This immobilised Killerhurtz, allowing Team Hurtz's machine to be ganged up on and attacked by the house robots, before eventually being pitted.
Roadblock was subsequently through to the Heat Final, where it faced Onslaught. In this battle, the Cornish machine had nothing to do at all, due to Onslaught breaking down before the battle started. The reigning champions pushed the immobilised Onslaught onto a nearby arena spike, before pulling back to let the house robots cause further damage. Whilst the other House Robots focused on attacking Onslaught, Roadblock took the time to fight against Dead Metal, coming off second-best after Dead Metal snapped off its strimmer motor chain with its pincers. Cease was eventually called and Roadblock was put through to the Series Semi-Finals.
In the Series Semi-Finals, Roadblock took the Sentinel route in the Gauntlet stage, only to get intercepted by the house robots, stopping the reigning champions in their tracks. Roadblock only managed to travel 5.45m before getting trapped and cease then being called, but this still was enough for Roadblock to be placed third place on the leaderboard overall, giving it a place in the next round of the Semi-Final. In the Pinball Trial, Roadblock scored a very impressive 355 points in a run which included getting the sphere and even house robot Matilda into the pit of oblivion. This score was the highest any robot managed in the second series, therefore meaning that Roadblock finished first on the leaderboard, subsequently giving it a place in the arena stage of the Semi-Finals.
In the Arena, Roadblock was placed up against newcomers King Buxton. In the battle, Roadblock was able to cause some damage to its opponent with its saw before both robots came into trouble with the house robots, lingering too close to the CPZ. Although both robots were able to escape, King Buxton then became immobilised after catching fire. The house robots closed in to cause even more damage to King Buxton, before cease was called. Roadblock was the clear winner of the battle, and therefore progressed to the Grand Final for the second time in succession.
In the Grand Final, Roadblock was placed up against the number 5 seeds Cassius in the eliminator round, this was seen as a grudge match for Recyclopse's defeat at the hands of Roadblock in the Grand Final of the First Wars. In this battle, Roadblock started very promisingly by pushing its opponent into Sir Killalot, who flipped Cassius over with its lance. Cassius self-righted and got underneath Roadblock, flipping it onto its side against the arena side wall. Roadblock was unable to self-right and deemed immobilised, and instead of being brutally attacked by the house robots, it was cut some slack as cease was soon called, ending the defending champion's run.
As some consolation, Roadblock did manage to win the play-off battle for third place after it was placed up against the number 4 seeds Killertron, this was also as a grudge match, after the Series 1 Heat A Final, but Killertron did not gain vengeance.In this battle, Roadblock managed to push its opponent around the arena with ease, with little retaliation from Killertron. Eventually, Roadblock pitted Killertron, securing the victory and third place for the Bodmin Community College team. This was Roadblock's final appearance on Robot Wars before being succeeded by Beast of Bodmin.
Results[edit | edit source]
|UK Robot Wars Series 1||Heat A||Gauntlet||N/A||Completed
|Grand Final||Cunning Plan,
Robot The Bruce,
|UK Robot Wars Series 2
|Grand Final||Eliminator||(5) Cassius||Lost|
|Third Place||(4) Killertron||Won|
Wins/Losses[edit | edit source]
- Wins: 13
- Losses: 1