The House Robots are the guardians of the arena, and can attack any competitor robot that is unfortunate enough to find itself in their corner patrol zones.
Note: Info about the new series is still coming in. We're updating these pages as fast as we can but some of the info here will be out of date.
House Robots History
Once Robot Wars was given the go-ahead a group of designers and special effects engineers, who at the time worked for the BBC Visual Effects Department, were given the task of creating four robots that were capable of attacking the competitor robots and generally posing a large threat to them. These "house" robots would be heavier than the competitors and could use weapons that were not normally allowed under the rules (such as flame throwers). The team, lead by Chris Reynolds, had to design and build the robots from scratch.
It was assumed that most of the competitor robots would be basic metal boxes on wheels, so it was important that the each of the House Robots had a distinct look and personality of their own. Chris Reynolds came up with the initial ideas for what each House Robot should look like, and what its personality could be.
Throughout Robot Wars
During Series 1, the House Robots were highly successful which prompted the decision to create a new one for Series 2. This House Robot would go to new limits - Sir Killalot was bigger, heavier and potentially more destructive than any of the original robots. The BBC Visual effects team had just 10 days to build Killalot before the Second Wars started. This wasn't enough time, so the team was still finishing him in the van while they headed down to the TV studio!
The Visual Effects team were also responsible for maintaining and fixing all of the House Robots during the filming of each series. In between each war, they would also improve the robots to make sure they remained a threat to the ever advancing competitor robots. One of the most significant changes was the removal of Matilda's chainsaw, and its replacement by a vertically mounted flywheel in 2001.
Around the time of Series 6, the BBC shut down the Visual Effects unit and the former workers became employees of Mentorn, the company who produced Robot Wars. This allowed the same team to continue to work on the House Robots when the show moved to Five for Series 7.
After Robot Wars and the new 2016 series
The House Robots themselves are believed to have been kept in storage somewhere in London for many years. At one time they were owned by the company set up by Chris Reynolds, AllFX, which provides special effects services to the TV and film industry and there are various references to the House Robots on the AllFX website.
Replica models of some of the House Robots, like Sgt Bash, have appeared at various live events around the country since Robot Wars finished.
While the original models of the House Robots are still largely intact, for the new 2016 series of Robot Wars completely new versions of Matilda, Shunt, Dead Metal and Sir Killalot have built.
These new models still retain many of the characteristics of the originals but are far more powerful and heavily armoured, so that they can stand up to the more dangerous competitor robots that are around today.