TORNADO - The Team with the Comedy Flying Cow

| Daily Mail Weekend 16/9/00 || Hunts Post 1/11/00 |
| Huntingdon Town Crier 2/11/00 || Hunts Post 8/11/00 |
| Huntingdon Town Crier 9/11/00 || Robot Wars Magazine January 2001 |
| Cambridge News 30/1/01 || Huntingdon Town Crier 1/2/01 |
| BBC Radio Cambridgeshire 2/2/01 || Huntingdon Town Crier 8/2/01 |
| Robot Wars Magazine April 2001 || Robot Wars Magazine July 2001 |
| Robot Wars Magazine August 2001 || Robot Wars Magazine Sept. 2001 |
| Robot Wars Magazine Oct. 2001 || Robot Wars Magazine Nov. 2001 |
| Real Robots 19 May 2002 || Real Robots 20 May 2002 |
| Real Robots 21 June 2002 |

(Note that we are reproducing articles from the press that feature Tornado here - we do not own the copyright to these articles.)

Real Robots 21 June 2002
This issue features the "infamous" photo of Tornado, Stinger, Toecutter 2 and Onslaught in the Battlebots arena. Eh? Tornado and the others have never been to Battlebots. Look closely at Tornado in the picture: unpainted front and rear chassis, no titanium over the batteries, slick tyres, strange silver speed controller between the front wheels, skinny Series 4 side bars, red spikes, failsafe light in the front and switched on? Aah, that'll be the final of the first session at
Robot Rumble 2001, Debenham! The image also includes some of Andrews comments from the article.

Real Robots 20 May 2002
The second part of the Tornado article appears over four pages of issue 20. You can buy back issues of the magazine from
Real Robots.

Real Robots 19 May 2002
The first part of an article about Tornado appears in this issue, across four pages. You can buy back issues of the magazine from
Real Robots.

Robot Wars Magazine November 2001
Tornado features in a small way, pictured in our Series 4 fight against Gemini, in the "How To Draw Gemini" section. We're also mentioned in the Series 5 wallchart that comes with this issue, under heat G.

Robot Wars Magazine October 2001
Page 19 correctly lists us as being seeded 12th for Series 5. We feature in two puzzle zone questions, one using the first letter of Tornado along with others to make up a robot name, and another interleaving our Series 4 fight against Wheely Big Cheese with a fight between Kronic the Wedgehog and Thermidor.

Robot Wars Magazine September 2001
The Series 4 Tornado fights Firestorm and Bolt From The Blue in a fantasy fight - "Forecast: Grim!". Tornado wins!

Thank goodness it's fantasy, I doubt a fight against Firestorm would be too easy for us. Especially with a pneumatic spike that appears to be jammed in the out position! But that's not the worst of it - Firestorm appear to be sporting their front edge cover and carrying cradle in the arena!

Robot Wars Magazine August 2001
So much for what last month suggested... the only mention we get is being thrown out of the arena by Chaos 2, in the Top 20 Maddest Moments from Series 4. At least it's number 8...

Robot Wars Magazine July 2001
Tornado appears photographed in the next issue section inside the back cover, and a Puzzle Zone question asks - What colour is Tornado?

Robot Wars Magazine April 2001
We feature on page 10 as one of "The Premier League" - "the very best of the 96 contestant robots that made it all the way through to the semi-finals".

Huntingdon Town Crier 8/2/01

Warring robots out of the battle
BOTH Huntingdon teams in the current series of Robot Wars have been knocked out in the Semi-Finals.
Tornado and Devestator 2 both made it through to the final four in the round but were defeated in straight battles against incredible competition.
Devestator 2 was beaten by the reigning Champion, Chaos 2, while Tornado battled on with an ever increasing selection of replacement parts borrowed from other teams.
Er... it took Chaos 2 to knock us out, and we borrowed but one motor...

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire 2/2/01

On the morning of our semi-final, BBC Radio Cambridgeshire did a live interview with Peter Halloway of Dominator 2 and Andrew of Tornado. Listen to the (edited) interview (565kb MP3).

Huntingdon Town Crier 1/2/01

Local teams fight Robot Wars
TWO teams from Huntingdon will be taking part in the semi-finals of Robot Wars tomorrow (February 2).
Tornado and Devestator 2 will be completing against six other robots for two spaces in the final round of the hit TV series, shown on BBC2 at 6.45pm.
Huntingdonshire is the only district in the country to have produced two semi-finalists.
Well, at least they got our name right... Sorry Dominator 2!

Cambridge News 30/1/01
Without even knowing about it until we found
the page on their website, we made an apperance in the Cambridge News.

Roboteer teams reduced to two
CULT TV series Robot Wars should have Cambridgeshire families glued to their screens next month when two local teams compete in the semi-finals.

They are now the only county teams left, now that Raizer Blade, Cambridge's own entry, has crashed out of the contest.

Andrew Marchant, David Gamble, Bryan Moss and their robot, Tornado, got a step closer to the Robot Wars crown when they won their heat in November.

Dominator II is crewed by Peter Halloway, Chris Hall and Paul Tolliday and also won its place in November.

Both teams, from the Huntingdon area, are made up of work colleagues whose varied hobbies and skills have been put to good use in the contest.

Electro-acoustic engineer Andrew Marchant, is Tornado's team captain and driver and he designed and built most of the the robot.

Electronics engineer David Gamble, whose hobbies include Hi-Fi building, cycling and storm-chasing, is in charge of the electronics. Mechanical engineer Bryan Moss designed the pneumatic spike weapon system.

Dominator II's team are in their 30s, with captain Peter Holloway, a development engineer, working as project manager, driver and tea boy.

Chris Hall, an electronics engineer, has built electronic gadgets and enjoys motorbiking and snooker. He designed Dominator II's power electronics. Graphic artist Paul Tolliday is controller of the pneumatic axe and comes to the contest with a background in amateur dramatics.

Robot Wars Magazine January 2001
This issue included the heat F roundup. We make the cover! OK, we're hidden under a "Free Stickers" flap, but we're on the cover just the same.

...and we're on page 3 as well, as part of the contents... "the heat f smash up"

Pages 24 and 25 provide the complete heat F summary. "A creature, a cluster-bot and a cow in a tornado? It can only be the climactic mash-up that was Heat F!"

And we appear on a Team Sheet on page 28. To say the data is iffy is to be polite, although the note about kart tyres is completely true. Polycarbon armour? Will that be graphite, diamond or buckminsterfullerene? I suppose it's better than Thermidor (who appear on the same page)'s weight being 80x40x25cm!!!

Huntingdon Town Crier 9/11/00
Not to be outdone, the Town Crier did a follow up too.

Second robot heads to war
A SECOND machine from Huntingdon has made it to the semi-finals of the hit TV series Robot Wars.
The team which built Tornado - Andrew Marchant (23) and Bryan Moss (28) of Huntingdon, and David Gamble (27), of Sawtry - are competing in the programme for the first time, but fought their way through this heat to join Dominator 2 in the semi-finals.
All three work at NXT in Huntingdon and are now among the best 16 competing teams, from more than 1,000 entries.

Hunts Post 8/11/00
The Hunts Post featured a little follow up article. The BBC" instead of BBC2 is their typo, not mine...

Tornado makes it a town double
HUNTINGDON team Tornado won their heat of Robot Wars on Friday - giving the town two representatives in the last 16.
Tornado followed on where Dominator 2 had left off the previous week and emerged victorious from a very difficult heat in the popular BBC" television show.
Once Kater Killer had been eliminated in round one Tornado defeated Huddersfield's Beserk 2 to move into the final. There it met number 8 seed Gemini - the first robot in the tournament that was able to split itself in two.
Unfortunately for Gemini, the rules stated that if one half became immobilised for 30 seconds the robot was eliminated - and after Tornado impaled one of Gemini's two robots on a spike Tornado was declared the winner.
INFORMATION: The semi-finals will be televised in the New Year.

Huntingdon Town Crier 2/11/00
Another article from one of the free local papers. At least this one's accurate, probably because it's so brief...

Dominator crushes the opposition
HUNTINGDON'S first entry in this series of Robot Wars has stormed through to the semi-finals and another machine from the town is battling to join it this week.
Dominator 2 crushed all opposition in the programme on Friday (October 27) winning a place in the penultimate round.
Another team from Huntingdon, with the robot "Tornado,' is competing this Friday (November 3).
They are Andrew Marchant (23) and Bryan Moss (28), from Huntingdon, and David Gamble (27), from Sawtry.
Mr Marchant began work on the project when still a student, a wheelchair for parts, but it took off when he started work at NXT last year, recruiting Mr Moss and Mr Gamble, who also work for the company.
"With three of us who work, we had a lot more money to play with," said Mr Marchant. It took four months and 4,000 to complete Tornado, which was built in Mr Gamble's garage.
The team will have to do extremely well to better Dominator's performance last Friday. This robot, built by Peter Halloway. Chris Hall, Paul Tolliday, Elliot Smart and Bruce Benson, won the contest with liberal use of its pneumatic axe.
Mr Halloway, the team captain from Huntingdon, said: "Since the show we have had more than 500 hits on our website, with e-mails from people wanting to know more about the axe."
Dominator has also been filmed extensively for a spin-off from the main series, aptly titled 'Annihilation.' In this programme, six of the most deadly robots battle it out in the arena until just one is left operational.
To find out more about Dominator, check out the team's website at

Hunts Post 1/11/00
We were featured in one of the free local papers - the week before Dominator 2, also from Huntingdon, was featured, and of course they went on to qualify for the semi finals. The article also featured more information about Dominator 2, which has not been included here. You can see the
article in full on the Hunts Post website.

Roboteers stand by for the Tornado!

Report by

  TORNADO team
  captain Andrew
  Marchant, David
  Gamble and Bryan
  Moss in the
  workshop -
  otherwise known   as Bryan's garage

team-captain Peter
Halloway with the
bruised and
battered robot

A SECOND Huntingdon team is bidding for success on BBC2's popular TV show Robot Wars and they aim to emulate the sucess of last week's heat winners Dominator 2.
The Tornado team, which comprises team captain Andrew Marchant and Bryan Moss, both from Huntingdon, and David Gamble from Sawtry, are in Friday's heat bidding for a place in the semi-finals.
Bryan lives just around the corner from Peter Halloway, team captain of the Dominator 2 team which won last week's heat after a judges verdict placed them above Kettering's 101 team.
Building Tornado was Andrew's idea. He said: "I started at University where I was driving remote control cars and I just decided I would have a go."
Having asked around at work the team was born because three contributors could afford a better robot than one. Andrew said: "Because we have got three salaries coming in we could afford to spend more on the robot. We spent around 4000 and we have not had any sponsorship. The cost included tools that we have had to buy."
The team started building the robot last year and admitted it was time-consuming. David said: "It is not something you want to do if you want a social life. I don't know if we realised exactly what we had taken on."
The robot, which has a pneumatic spike and is capable of pulling a Land Rover, was designed with specific needs in mind. David said: "It had to be able to run upside down - with all wheels driving." Andrew continued: "We wanted to be able to push things around, that was the original idea. We wanted to look the boss in the arena - look like we were in control."
INFORMATION: Robot Wars is on BBC2 at 6.45pm on Fridays and then repeated at 11.15am on Sundays.
So what's wrong with this one? Well, it was Daves not Bryans garage, I spent my time at uni drinking rather than driving radio controlled cars (I drove them while I was still at school), and Mark got who said what a bit mixed up in places.

Daily Mail Weekend magazine 16/9/00
This was our first press coverage, on page 23, as part of a precursor to Series 4. Also featured were Mortis, 101 and Plunderstorm.

Techno warriors

wo years ago, no one had heard of Robot Wars now it's the biggest show on
BBC2. Each week, some five million viewers switch on to watch home-made, radio-controlled fighting machines engage in metal crushing combat, roared on by fanatical crowds who are penned in behind see-through bulletproof screens. There's a Robot Wars magazine, Robot Wars merchandise, even a Robot Wars
Next Friday a new series of the hit BBC2 show Robot Wars thunders on to our screens. Once again a group of hi-tech adversaries will be out to destroy each other's carefully-crafted machines. Here the men behind the killer robots reveal their secrets to CHRISTOPHER MIDDLETON
Photographs by DREW GARDNER
world championship. And before long, there'll be Robot Wars toys in the shops.
The aim of each contestant is simple to disable their opponent's robot by any means available, whether this involves impaling it with a gas-powered spike, flipping in upside down like a beached turtle, or ramming it into one of the fiery pits that lie in wait for the unwary. As if this wasn't enough to contend with, each combatant has to keep a permanent eye out for the deadly 'house' robots these monstrous regulars go by the names of Sergeant Bash, Dead Metal, Matilda, Shunt, and Sergeant Killalot and their operators are never happier than when roasting and dismembering some hapless robot that has strayed into their path.
Given that a robot's life in the arena can last less than a minute, you might think there would be a shortage of people willing to risk their lovingly manufactured machines in battle. Not so. More than 1,000 roboteers applied to take part in the fourth (and latest) series of Robot Wars, which hits our screens next week. Most of the applicants were men, and most had assembled their machines in their own garages or garden sheds. Here, we meet some of the roboteers who are preparing to do battle before the eyes of a nation hungry for the sight of spilt oil and twisted metal.

Andrew Marchant, 23 (centre left), is single and a design engineer. He lives in a flat in Huntingdon, Cambs.
Fellow team members:
Workmates Dave Gamble, 26 (left), and Bryan Moss, 28 (right).
Robot: Tornado. Clad in see-through, reinforced polycarbonate, has the wheels of a go-kart and looks like a demented milk crate. Its main weapon is a pneumatic spike, which decends with frightening force.
Cost: 3,994,97.
War record: None, but roboteers are highly trained.
Andrew says: It was while I was at Salford University (studying electro-acoustics) that I first got the idea of competing in Robot Wars. I bought a second-hand wheelchair with a view to building the robot round its engine, but it wasn't until I started work (at Huntingdon based audio equipment firm NXT) that I decided to get a team together.
Because I was living in a tiny flat, and Dave had a garage, we built the robot at his place. When we started out, we had no idea how much it would dominate our lives. For the last three months up to the start of the competition, we devoted every single spare night we had to that machine. Basically, we lived on adrenaline and takeaways. I don't have a girlfriend, but I did get to see an awful lot of the girl behind the counter at the Chinese takeaway. We finished on Tornado at 3am on July 31, and our Audition was on August 1. Mind you, it was all worth it in the end.
We call ourselves Team Tornado for two reasons. The first is that we like to think of our robot destroying everything in its path. The second is that Dave's big hobby is storm-chasing. He's been over to the States a couple of times. He saw golf-ball-sized hailstones the first time, and on his second trip, he got to see a real tornado. That's why our team T-shirts show a flying cow the idea is that it's being blown through the air by a force beyond its control. Once you get involved in something like this, it's addictive, no doubt about it. We're already working on a new machine for the next (fifth) series of Robot Wars. This one's going to have a spinning disc that will rip up our opponents.

If you've looked round our site you'll have noticed there's a few errors - the cost for instance is wrong as we didn't know how much the T-Shirts came to at the interview, they've used a little bit of artistic licence on what I said, and of course we hadn't then started on our Series 5 entry!

| Home || Build Diary || Official Merchandise || Site Map || E-Mail |