TORNADO - The Team with the Comedy Flying Cow


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2/12/02 - Visited Wyton camp to see the hangar used by the Scout group at which our mate and honourary team member Chris Smythe is a leader. Met Chris' father, also called Chris... Well, we won't forget anyones name! It looks like we'll be able to put on a demo for the Scouts later next week. Started sorting out the Storm Chaser covers in preperation for the Technogames filming later in the month, making a new front cover, labelling our ammo boxes from Anchor, and tidying Daves garage. We stripped down and cleaned the robot chassis, and started repairing the flappy things from last year, ready for football.

5/12/02 - Bryan continued preparing the new flappy things. Sorted out the Kart Wheel Solution for their purchaser (Dave Moulds), starting welding the flappy things for Storm Chaser (football), and made a wheeled adaptor for the front of the chassis so that Storm Chaser will climb a 1in4 ramp.

6/12/02 - Posted the wheels parcel to Dave M. Continued working on the robot, finishing welding the Storm Chaser football flappy things, welding the scoup (repairing the damage from Oundle), and repairing the Series 6 trophy! Bryan stripped down the wheelchair.

7/12/02 - Whilst doing my Christmas shopping, I spotted the minibots set which includes Tornado. I couldn't resist! Given its size, its a very accurate and detailed model of Tornado!

8/12/02 - Dave started work on reassembling Tornado.

11/12/02 - Meeting with our sponsor, Dave Knight (and his mate Ted Knights) from Knight Batteries. Spent the remainder of the evening getting Tornado ready for the scouts demo tomorrow.

12/12/02 - Visit to the Scout group where Chris Smythe is a leader. Chris had provided an old tumble drier for us to destroy with Tornado, and it fell apart with only a few hits! We also trashed an old microwave we brought along, and performed a burnout... We gave up running Tornado when the failsafe started cutting in - it looks like another motor shorted to chassis, but we can't be sure. Dave ran his Tesla coil again, at least until something failed in the power supply - it wasn't working as well as usual. We unpacked our cars in the evening, and started packing for the Technogames audition and the Worthing event at the weekend.

13/12/02 - The second issue of the Robot Wars magazine arrived today. Tornado is mentioned a few times in the text, appears in a photo from Series 4 being flipped by Wheely Big Cheese, and as the toy in an article with Chris Moon from Logistix - but even better, in a conceptual drawing of a larger toy with interchangeable scoop and sumo ramp - we could have a full size toy out next year! We finished packing for the weekend in the afternoon, and Dave and I headed down to Worthing in the evening. We finally arrived at the leisure centre just as everyone had finished preparing the arena and was leaving...

14/12/02 - Robot Roadshow event, down in Worthing. Have a look at our event report.

We headed back up to Daves in Sawtry in the evening, to transform Tornado into its Storm Chaser guise. We started packing, but gave up and went for a pizza, along with the Storm team who had tagged along from Worthing.

15/12/02 - Audition for Technogames 4, up at RAF Newton nr Nottingham. We headed up in the morning along with the Storm team. When we arrived we weighed the robot in, checked in, and started waiting. Dave plus Ed from Storm helped fix a newcomers machine called Robotroll - they'd arrived with wet batteries, no failsafes and no link! The audition arena was nothing special - sand filled plastic barriers placed in a square on the floor. Bugs Buggy (Hydra) tested it and was able to push through it fairly easily. Our audition was quite simple, I drove Storm Chaser round the course of cones fairly quickly, and put the ball in the goal as required - it was over so quickly Derek asked us to do it again! So we did, the floor was quite slippery (dusty, shiny concrete) so this time I gave it a bit more speed and performed powerslides round a couple of the corners! We packed everything into Bryans 101 and left soon after. It seemed a lot of effort and time just to spend a minute driving round a little course! As promised by Neil, we got a call late that evening - we are in the Football and Sumo (but unfortunately not the assault course).

20/12/02 - Final day of Technogames 4 filming, and the only day of filming for us and Storm Chaser. Filming went on all day, and we went back to the hotel - we spent the evening in the bar, having a good laugh with everyone...

21/12/02 - Headed back down to Sawtry with the Storm team in the morning. Dave went to his parents in Ilkeston for Christmas, while Bryan drove down later in the day with the robot and all our junk in the 101.

27/12/02 - Bought some cheap sprocket carriers from Buckmore Kart shop.

2/1/03 - Started doing still captures from our last six months of video - there's a lot to do!

3/1/03 - Heat 7 of Series 6 shown on BBC2 - won by Tornado!
Continued on the capturing. Borrowed the digital camera from work to take photos of various things for the website.

4/1/03 - More capturing and photographs. Found that the sprocket carriers bought from Buckmore are the wrong size! Grrr! No wonder they were cheap...

5/1/03 - More photographs. Think we're finally there now! Built up an old PC for Dave to use with the battery tests...

9/1/03 - New Robot Wars magazine out (Issue 3) - Tornado's Series 6 heat (#7) is written up!

24/1/03 - Reassembled Tornado ready for the static display this weekend.

26/1/03 - Robots at Snibston static display event an the Snibston Discovery Park, Coalville, organised by the Gladiator (featherweight) team.

13/2/03 - Preparing Tornado for the Brighton Model World show tomorrow.

14/2/03 - First day of Brighton Model World.

15/2/03 - Day two of Brighton Model World.

16/2/03 - Final day of Brighton Model World. Took Tornado to Lakeside shopping centre in Essex in the evening, to leave it with Steve Meryill from the Chromalot team and his Robot Zone show, on over the half term week. We helped Steve and his crew unload the house robots for a while, but Dave was feeling ill so we left pretty quickly.

21/2/03 - First Semi Final of Series 6 shown on BBC2. Razer and Firestorm make it through to the series final. Returned to Lakeside in the afternoon to take part in the Robot Zone show, and pick up Tornado. Signed a lot of autographs! Spent a couple of hours with the Kent Robot Challenge team on the other side of the Dartford Crossing, having a meeting to organise this years Robot Challenge. Cheers for the meal Toni, and I'm looking forward to the event already! Returned after 10pm to collect Tornado - we could only take the robots out once Lakeside had closed - and helped load Killalot onto the lorry...

28/2/03 - Series 6 Semi Final 2 shown on BBC2 - and Tornado makes it through to the series final! The first fight was against Hypnodisc, and contrary to what we said on TV, we used the Spiked Scoop weapon, not the Anti Spinner Weapon... We knew Hypnodisc wouldn't be easy, but their disc gears failed a short time into the match (probably due to our repeated ramming!), and Tornado escaped with minimal damage. The second fight was against Dominator 2 - we had the upper hand for the start of the fight, pushing Dominator around and avoiding their axe - but the decisive moment came when we pushed them into Matlida's corner. I drove Tornado in after them - and Matilda's disc caught Tornado, throwing it across the arena! Dominator somehow ended up in the pit, and we were through!

7/3/02 - Series 6 Final shown on BBC 2 - Tornado wins UK Robot Wars Series 6!!! With over three years of work, it all pays off, and finally we won the big one - a full series! Our first fight against Firestorm was very hard as the arena was extremely oily, but even with damage from Shunt we managed to push them in the pit. The final was against Razer - so for the first time on BBC2, we used our Anti Crusher Weapon! Everything was going Tornado's way until the last moments, when Razer managed to lift Tornado, and drop it over the pit... But the judges ruled that Tornado's wheels had not been completely over the pit, and as such, we had won!

22/3/03 - Prepared for Inspire along with Ed from Storm - building parts for featherweight kit robots.

23/3/03 - More preparations for Inspire - built up prototype kit feather and had it running by the end of the day.

26/3/03 - Heard that Inspire robot kits now not needed so soon - Norwich schoolkids break up on the planned date for the event!

11/4/03 - Inspire preparations - building arena - many thanks to Jewsons in Norwich for all their help with materials for the arena!

12/4/03 - First day of Inspire - Static display of heavyweights, and featherweight combat.

13/4/03 - Second day of Inspire - proper featherweight knockout competition, eventually won by Rampage 2.

17/4/03 - Meeting in London with Mentorn on behalf of the RWCompetitors group. It was a very good meeting, lots of things were agreed and progress was made.

18/4/03 - Prepared Tornado for the International Robot Rumble (the event that was Debenham).

19/4/03 - Day 1 of the IRR. Beat Hydra in the first round but lost to Spawn in a 4 way melee 2nd round along with Dantomkia and the Dutch robot Hammerhead. It was freezing cold in the hangar and by the time we ran Dave's Tesla coil (the evening entertainment for the roboteers) most people had gone to their hotels! We went to Pizza Hut and then to the hotel in the evening.

20/4/03 - Day 2 of the IRR. Our first heat was against Barbaric Response and Roobarb - it was an early bath for us, as Barbaric Response stacked Tornado neatly against the wall! We went in for some fun fights later on in the day, firstly a four way with Pussycat, Dantomkia and Edgehog, in which our aerial got chopped off, and secondly a five way with M2, Dantomkia, Roobarb, Dutch robot Pulveriser and Tornado, won by M2 in the end - again we got stacked against the side, on top of Dantomkia this time! Dave ran the Tesla Coil for the audience and the roboteers twice again today.

25/4/03 - Took Tornado along to the second Dutch Robot Games - we used our works pool car (an estate!) and took the ferry over along with the Storm team. 2 robots and all their kit plus 5 people in one car was not too comfortable! At least the journey was fairly short, on both sides of the channel. Despite the distance, we ended up fighting only four fights, a little dissappointing.

26/4/03 - The first fight on Saturday was against vs Das Gepak and Ansgar 3 - we lost drive (a failed motor connector) within the first 3 seconds. We fought again later against TX108 and another machine. Our third fight of the day saw us against Edgehog and Storm 2, but with Dave driving - we ended up down the pit, but somehow drew the fight!

27/4/03 - Our only fight on Sunday was against Storm 2 and Mudbot, a wheelchair based goldfish, taken from a comic strip character. Storm and Tornado trashed mudbot - but with the driver's consent... We left early on Sunday afternoon, in order to reach our ferry in good time.

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