Dead Metal was one of the four original House Robots alongside Matilda, Sergeant Bash and Shunt. Designed to resemble a mechanical scorpion that had "reanimated from a junkyard", he fought by grabbing hold of contestant robots with his front-mounted claws and cutting into them with the circular saw on his "head".
He was driven by a battery powered engine, and moved at a speed of 5.4 metres per second (12 mph). Dead Metal was protected by a steel exoskeleton consisting of jagged armour plates and spiked struts as wheel guards. Dead Metal was originally going to be painted pink to match his lobster-like appearance, but was left grey to give him a more 'menacing' look. Despite appearing in all seven original series, Dead Metal was virtually unchanged from Series 3 onwards, except for receiving new pneumatic rams in his pincers for Series 4.
In 2016, Dead Metal was rebuilt to feature larger claws opening 1.4 metres wide, a higher top speed, LEDs, and a weight increase of over 200kg.
In Dutch Robot Wars, commentator Eric Corton often called him Death Metal, although his name was still spelt 'Dead Metal' in the house robots introduction and statistics board.
Dead Metal appears in the BBC's second teaser trailer for the 2016 series.
In Series 1 and 2, Dead Metal had a more scorpion-like appearance. His circular saw was attached to a tail-like arm that would move forward from the robot's back. During series 1, the steel exoskeleton was much simpler in design, and as a result, its internal workings were visible and mostly unprotected. The saw blade was powered by a petrol strimmer motor, which was unreliable and caused little damage. The arm rotated at its pivot 180 degrees, but moved very slowly.
For Series 2, Dead Metal underwent a major overhaul that saw its capabilities improve tenfold. The petrol motor was replaced by an electric motor, and the saw was changed from a grinding blade to a diamond edged cutting disc. The steel exoskeleton was also completely changed to accommodate the new saw mechanism, giving Dead Metal a much more complex and well-protected appearance. The new cutting disc was more powerful and created sparks whenever Dead Metal attempted to saw through other robots, but still did not give the production team the destructive power they wanted. The arm was also modified- it was now driven by a pneumatic ram and only moved up and down on a 80 degree pivot, which visibly increased its potency and reliability, being less complicated, and able to come down on trapped competitors much more quickly.
In Series 3, Dead Metal underwent further improvement, and gained the appearance and destructive power he would maintain for the rest of the series. The original saw/pneumatic arm configuration was replaced with a Stihl 3000rpm cut-off saw (similar to the type used to cut steel and concrete on building sites) mounted inside the front and protected from damage by a triangular face-like exoskeleton covering it, which would be slowly driven forward via linear actuators to attack. As part of its design, the saw had to be moved forward slowly, otherwise the mechanism would jam.
Part of the rear armour plating was also mounted to the base of the saw mechanism- the combined section would move forward, giving the viewers the impression of a head biting down with its saw blade on trapped competitors. This new system proved to be far more powerful than the original grinding disc/arm configuration, capable of slicing deep into competitors, and producing spectacular sparks, particularly against metals like titanium.
The original air-driven rams used to power the pincers were replaced by a new hydraulic system that ran on Carbon dioxide- the new system proved more durable and powerful than the original air rams. The armour and exoskeleton would remain the same throughout the rest of Robot Wars, with only few minor modifications to improve protection and durability.
Dead Metal also later gained the ability to adjust the height of the front of his chassis, the idea being that this would allow the pincers to grab robots of different heights, and was often demonstrated in its arena introductions.
Dead Metal was one of the fastest House Robots, and his metre-wide body made him very difficult to flip over. Only Gravity and Apollo ever achieved this; Cassius came close in its Series 2 Heat Final, but did not succeed.
A brand new larger Dead Metal was constructed for 2016, in a guise very faithful to the original. His circular saw now runs at 4000rpm, with a larger 450mm magnesium saw blade. His new pincers now open 1.4 metres wide. His weight has increased over 3 times, now weighing 343kg.
Robot History Edit
Dead Metal was the fourth and final House Robot to be introduced into the first series; however, memorable moments involving him were few and far between, due to the lack of power in his weaponry. At this time, he had a more scorpion-like appearance, with his circular saw (a grinding blade in this series, rather than the cutting blade that would be used later) descending on an arm. However, the petrol strimmer motor powering the weapon was unreliable and caused little damage. The simpler steel exoskeleton also exposed his internal workings and left them mostly unprotected; despite this, Dead Metal never broke down.
Due to the weakness of the saw, Dead Metal often relied on his pincers, as well as his speed and ramming ability. This proved to be especially effective in Heat D, when the featherweight Bugs was battered by Dead Metal when it got stuck on a grille; and in Heat E, when the pincers cut through the plaster on Torque of the Devil's head; and in Heat F, when Dead Metal teamed up with Sergeant Bash and Matilda to push The Blob back in its Gauntlet run. However, this tactic still did not always work, as Robot the Bruce was easily able to push him aside in its Gauntlet run in Heat C, as was Skarab in Heat F.
Dead Metal was also adapted to be used in the Football Trial in Heat C and acted as the goalkeeper. Instead of a circular saw, the arm had a large ball on the end, used to hit the ball away from the goal. One of his few instances of major damage to a robot occurred in this Trial, when he slammed WYSIWYG against the goalpost, causing it to break down (although, since WYSIWYG was a stock robot and not permitted to pass the trial, it is not clear whether or not it truly broke down). This version was also seen in many of the later Arena battles.
A serious accident occurred on the second day of shooting when Dead Metal's saw blade flew off and embedded itself into the wall behind where Jeremy Clarkson was standing. As a result, Dead Metal's saw blade was replaced with the ball for the rest of the First War.
Due to the poor performance of his saw in Series 1, Dead Metal received a major upgrade which greatly increased his capabilities. The unreliable petrol motor was replaced with an electric motor, and the grinding blade with a deadly diamond-edged cutting disc. The arm also ran on a simpler pneumatic ram system, making it able to come down on competitors more quickly. Despite a relative lack of power compared to later series, the saw proved far more effective, and produced Dead Metal's signature sparks whenever he attempted to cut through an opponent.
With the upgrade, Dead Metal began seeing great success in stopping opponents in the Gauntlet, using a combination of speed, pushing power and trapping ability to prevent robots including Sting, Onslaught, Killerhurtz, Panic Attack and Loco from completing it. One of his signature moves was grabbing the competitor with its pincers and pushing them towards the pit, while cutting them with his saw. Notably, he continued to cut into the top of Wizard's protruding hat even after it had been pitted, prompting boos from the audience.
Dead Metal temporarily replaced Shunt for the Sumo Trial event in Heat L. This was perhaps his finest hour in this series, defeating four out of five opponents, and only losing to Vercingetorix because he ran out of time. He did fall out of the ring once, against Haardvark, but Haardvark was already knocked out by that time.
Despite this success, Dead Metal still faced several failures. He was completely outmatched by Chaos during the Tug of War event, and was easily dragged into the pit. Dead Metal was also pushed into the pit by Talos during its Gauntlet run. During the King of the Castle Trial run, Plunderbird 2 pushed it off the platform with Sergeant Bash. This event was also the source of one of its more comical appearances - he managed to catch Mega Hurts with his pincers and forced it over the edge backwards, but as this happened Mega Hurts flipped over, and Dead Metal fell over the edge with it, crushing Mega Hurts' computer monitor with its weight.
Dead Metal's saw blade and saw blade mount were completely redesigned for the Third Wars, a new blade was fitted on a much larger mount with increased power. This arrangement would go on to be used on Dead Metal for the remainder of Robot Wars. The new saw enabled Dead Metal to make much more significant damage to competitors, such as Griffon and Onslaught.
Dead Metal was also assigned as the permanent Goalkeeper for the Robotic Soccer Competition that ran alongside the main competition, though still often making errors that made it easier for some robots to go on and score.
Dead Metal returned for the Fourth Wars relatively unchanged, but the power of its weaponry was increased in addition to it having a stronger exoskeleton. This was the last major change that happened to Dead Metal.
A notable incident involving Dead Metal occurred in Behemoth's heat of the All-Stars competition, where it faced Hypno-Disc. Behemoth pushed Hypno-Disc into the CPZ, so Hypno-Disc should have been attacked by a House Robot. However, Dead Metal came into the CPZ and attacked Behemoth instead. Refbot pushed it away and issued it with a yellow card. The battle continued, and Behemoth pushed Hypno-Disc into another CPZ. Dead Metal came out again, but proceeded to attack Behemoth again. Behemoth escaped and Refbot issued Dead Metal with a red card, meaning it was unable to leave its CPZ for the rest of the battle. This made Dead Metal the first House Robot to be issued with a red card.
Dead Metal also fought in the House Robot Rebellion with Shunt and later Matilda, where it faced Stinger, Scorpion and Plunderbird 5. It started by attempting to attack Stinger, but Stinger escaped, and Plunderbird 5 attacked Dead Metal, prompting it to attack Plunderbird 5 with its saw. After Plunderbird was thrown by the Floor Flipper, Dead Metal was attacked by Scorpion and Stinger. Shortly after this, Dead Metal caught Stinger with its claws and began cutting into its wheels. Stinger escaped and hit Dead Metal with its mace and drove away before cease was called. As it was the only challenger still moving, Stinger was announced as the victor.
Dead Metal had the least appearances out of the house robots in the Fifth Wars meaning that notable moments were few and far between. His most memorable moment came in Round 2 of Heat D when, as he was pitting one half of the Gemini twins, he inadvertently fell into the pit himself.
In Heat D, after S3 defeated Sir Chromalot, Dead Metal was able to hold the circular robot with his pincers, inflict damage with his circular saw, and eventually push Sir Chromalot into the pit. Unfortunately for Dead Metal, the house robot fell into the pit with its victim.
Dead Metal was also nearly flipped over by Thermidor 2 in its Heat F eliminator, as he and Sir Killalot ganged up on the immobilised robot. He also pushed Chompalot onto the floor flipper later in the same fight, before he and Sir Killalot dumped it into the pit.
In the Heat G eliminators, Dead Metal lived up to his earlier reputation, causing significant damage to Inshredable’s chassis before slicing through Revolution 2’s spinning blades, sending copious amounts of sparks flying on both occasions. The damage he and Matilda inflicted on Inshredable was sufficient to prevent it from being properly repaired in time for its Round 2 clash with Anarchy.
During the Minor Meltdown in Extreme 2, when Bigger Brother faced Rick, Dead Metal's saw blade fell off. It proceeded to fly across the arena floor, before colliding with the side wall and falling into a gap between the arena and the side wall.
Dead Metal was also attacked during the Commonwealth Carnage final between Firestorm 4 and Crushtacean after the former had propped the latter up against the wall. As Refbot counted the South African robot out, Firestorm chased after Dead Metal and started trying to flip it, only for Dead Metal to get stuck on an angle grinder, pinning both robots and stopping either move. Sgt. Bash then proceeded to crush into Firestorm in retaliation for that attack and for flipping both it and Mr. Psycho in the previous battle.
One of Dead Metal's main highlights in the Seventh Wars came in Heat B, in the battle between Big Nipper and Jackson Wallop. With Jackson Wallop immobile, Dead Metal had the freedom to push it all around the arena, slicing through the artistic paintwork on top of Jackson Wallop's weapon, creating many sparks.
The Seventh Wars marks the first time in the show's history when Dead Metal was flipped. In the Heat Final of Heat D, Gravity faced Lightning and defeated it relatively easily. After Lightning was counted out, the Gravity team decided to attack the House Robots. It threw both Shunt and Dead Metal over, leaving itself and Refbot as the only machines still moving. Refbot gave Gravity the red card, but at this point Lightning was already immobilised, so Gravity still went through.
During the semi-finals of the All-Stars, during the battle between Dantomkia and Panic Attack, after Dantomkia flipped Panic Attack out of the arena, it attacked not only Dead Metal, but also Growler, both of whom broke down.
Dead Metal was the third House robot confirmed to appear in the 2016 reboot, but was the second to be featured in a teaser trailer.
For the new series, Dead Metal was rebuilt to feature larger claws, a higher top speed, LEDs, and a weight increase of over 200kg.
During its bout with Shockwave, Foxic managed to push Dead Metal along almost the entire length of the arena, eventually stopping due to Shockwave lifting Foxic into his pincers. Dead Metal would later get revenge, after he managed to saw through Foxic's front lifter during their loss to Thor.
In Episode 3, Dead Metal was attacked briefly by Dantomkia after King B Remix was disposed of, although Dantomkia was unable to flip the House Robot. In the next head-to-head match between Big Nipper and TR2, Dead Metal managed to cause significant damage to Big Nipper, almost severing the safety link.
In Episode 4, Dead Metal was attacked by Apollo and successfully flipped, the first House Robot of the 2016 series to suffer this fate. Matilda left her CPZ and entered Dead Metal's, but was unable to right him and was ultimately flipped over as well.
In Episode 5, Dead Metal single-handedly immobilised Crazy Coupe 88, when it drove into the CPZ of its own accord. Dead Metal slammed it into the arena wall and used its circular saw, defeating the competitor. Later in the episode, Dead Metal sustained major damage from Gabriel, which was trying to stop Dead Metal from attacking a smoking Chompalot.