- "There's a lot of vicious weapons in BattleBots - spinners, drums - but they all come in from the side. What's different about Beta is we come in from the top. It's very rare, people aren't expecting that, so people don't put a whole lot of armor on the top, it's all on the sides. So if we can hit it on the top, we can kill them with a good hit."
- — John Reid, ABC Season 2
Beta (pronounced bee-tah and sometimes stylised as BETA) is a heavyweight robot which originally intended to compete in Season 5.0 of Comedy Central BattleBots, but had to withdraw. It also had to withdraw from the 2015 reboot season, but returned for ABC Season 2 and Discovery Season 5.
Built by John Reid of Team Hurtz to replace KillerHurtz after Season 4.0, Beta would finally debut in the modern era in ABC Season 2. The robot was built especially for the show, armored in polycarbonate with stainless steel corner panels, and was armed with a large geared hammer deemed so powerful that it needed incredibly strong magnets to keep the bot from destabilizing.
Joined by long-term teammate Dominic Parkinson as well as two-time Robot Wars champion George Francis of Chaos 2 fame, the original build of Beta showed up in a finished state to compete in the Comedy Central Season 5.0 heavyweight division. However, as its magnets pulled the floor panels up, Beta could not move under its own power in the BattleBots test arena. Team Hurtz were forced to withdraw and intended to remedy this ahead of the next competition, but the show was canceled after Season 5.0.
Beta returned to BattleBots for Season 1 of the ABC reboot, with John Reid being assisted by Dave Moulds of Team Carbide, who would later enter Cobalt under his own team for the 2016 and 2019 seasons. Multiple changes had been made to Beta in order to bring it up-to-date, including a new hammer arm which was bent so it could strike opponents even when mid-air and a suction fan system to replace the magnets. Unfortunately, despite multiple attempts to get it working, they were forced to forfeit their first match. This was due to American Airlines losing a 25kg bag of important parts for Beta on its way to San Francisco. This bag had Beta's custom weapon controller, wiring harness, armor mounting, wheel bearings, chargers and more in it. The bag was eventually found eight weeks later.
When Beta returned again for ABC Season 2, it finally worked as intended, allowing it to demonstrate its electrically-driven hammer to devastating effect. The weapon's quick fire rate, self-righting capability, and damage output quickly made Beta a crowd favorite. Joined by Grant Cooper of Team Robo Challenge - who assisted with weapon operations and repairs - Beta reached the quarter-finals of the main competition, losing a close duel with Tombstone at that stage after receiving serious damage to its armor and weapon mount.
In spite of its success, Beta did not return for either of the next two seasons, instead competing in the Chinese show King of Bots, where John Reid helped out his old rival Gabriel Stroud with his flipper bot Tánshè. He later formed part of Team Black and Blue as they entered DUCK! for the 2019 season. Similarly, Grant Cooper split off to compete with Quantum under the Team Robo Challenge name.
For Discovery Season 5, Beta was upgraded with help from his team from Tánshè, using a new shorter hammer powered by nitrogen for more power, four-wheel driven with two of the wheels being behind the hammer, and different armor configurations. Although its weapon showed a lot of power, John Reid often held back too much to save it and it often cost Beta points, especially in the main tournament. While Beta did go unbeaten in the fight cards, it was viciously disposed of in the Round of 32 and then battered in its sole BattleBots: Bounty Hunters fight.
Beta was initially confirmed to have been accepted for Discovery Season 6 though Gabriel would not have been on the team as he intended to compete with Sabretooth. However, both Beta and Sabretooth were forced to drop out of the competition due to their NIE visas being denied by the US State Department.
Beta also made an appearence in the pilot episode of the 2016 series of Robot Wars as Basher. It did not compete in the main competition due to its exclusivity contract with BattleBots, as well as the fact that Reid had already entered Series 8 with Beta's predecessor, Terrorhurtz, and would continue to do so in Series 9 and 10.
For more information on Team Hurtz's involvement in Robot Wars, see here.
Beta vs. Bender (Forfeit)
Beta was meant to fight Bender in its first ever match, but failed to move under its own power and thus forfeited the fight. Bender won by default and Beta was eliminated from the tournament.
ABC Season 1
Beta vs. Tombstone (Forfeit)
Beta returned to BattleBots for the 2015 reboot, and was slated to battle Tombstone. However, due to the circumstances noted above, they were unable to get running and had to forfeit. They were replaced in the competition by alternate Counter Revolution.
ABC Season 2
Beta vs. Lucky
Beta's first match in Season 2 was against Lucky. Before getting into the BattleBox, Beta fell off the trolley and landed on the entrance ramp. Luckily, this caused no damage to Beta ahead of the fight.When the battle began, its first hit managed to break off a protective panel from the top of Lucky. Lucky fought back strongly, flipping Beta over a few times, but Beta righted himself each time. Beta eventually landed a hit on Lucky's flipping arm, causing it to lock upright until Beta hit it back into position. The two robots continued to attack each other until the battle ended, to which Beta won a unanimous 3-0 judge's decision. This win put Beta to the Round of 32 with its No.9 seeding, where it faced the No.24 seed Overhaul.
Beta vs. OverhaulBoth robots moved around trying to avoid the other's weapon. Beta managed to get a hit on Overhaul's weapon but no damage was done. Overhaul eventually found itself cornered and took a few blows from Beta's hammer. After a few more blows from Beta's hammer, Overhaul stopped moving as the impacts destroyed the power switch for the drive as well as the battery box. with no signs of control, Overhaul was counted out and the time ran out before the countdown was finished. Beta won on a unanimous 3-0 judge's decision and advanced to the Round of 16, where it faced the No.25 seed Nightmare, a bot Beta's predecessor beat in the very first BattleBots event.
Beta vs. NightmareThings started out rather poorly for Beta, as Nightmare took out Beta's weapon as well as causing other damage. Nightmare sported an additional piece of armor called the BETA BLOCKER, which didnt last long. Luckily, Beta found an opening and managed to get Nightmare on top and paraded it around the BattleBox. Nightmare got off but Beta got underneath again and this time toppled Nightmare with only 13 seconds left. Nightmare was counted out and Beta won by KO. This win put Beta through to the quarter-finals, where it finally faced the No.1 seed Tombstone after forfeiting its first match against them in the previous season.
Beta vs. TombstoneUnlike the other robots that faced Tombstone before, from the very start of the match, Beta had the advantage. Beta came right at Tombstone and both robots collided in the center of the BattleBox. This sent Tombstone flying out of control, effectively fending off the No.1 seed using its large front wedge. Despite Tombstone's blade sending shrapnel flying, Beta took very little damage and continued to control the match. Beta pushed Tombstone around and attacked Tombstone's top with its hammer after pinning Tombstone against the wall. However, Beta managed to flip Tombstone by trying to pin it blade-first sending Tombstone flying onto its back, allowing Tombstone's blade to hit higher on Beta. Beta continued to attack even after its weapon mount took damage from Tombstone's blade, leaving Beta with no active hammer. Beta got underneath Tombstone again, but both robots remained motionless as the clock had been inadvertently reset, though no mention of this was made TV broadcast. The fight went to the judges, who ruled unanimously in favor of Tombstone, eliminating Beta from the tournament.
Discovery Season 5
Beta vs. ROTATOR
Beta's return to combat gave it a match with Victor Soto and ROTATOR, but due to the filming schedule and Beta arriving a bit late, this fight was actually filmed last but aired first. In response, the robot was equipped with a lighter hammer and thicker armor to deflect ROTATOR's attacks. Beta started off very well as they were fending off ROTATOR and began carrying them around the arena. Since ROTATOR had pretty much no answer, Beta continued to push them around, taking them to the screws and taking advantage of ROTATOR's attempt to keep its weapon running. Beta then pushed ROTATOR near the pulverizer and lost its hammer head as it turned into ROTATOR's spinning disc. The time ran out and the judges awarded a 2-1 split decision for Beta.
This fight, which was filmed after the highly controversial fight between HUGE and Hydra, was also highly controversial due to Beta winning despite not using his active primary weapon and would force the producers to update the judging guidelines for future seasons.
Beta vs. Rusty
Beta’s next televised fight was against Dave Eaton and Rusty, though this was actually Beta's first filmed fight. As the match started, Beta circled Rusty before scooping it up and shoving it into the wall. After circling again Beta shoved Rusty into the screws and brought down the hammer, crumpling the rear of Rusty, but only two of the magnets intended on keeping Beta on the arena floor worked, leaving Beta to still jump in the air. Rusty was still twitching somewhat, so Beta hammered it again. Rusty was immobilized after this and was counted out, giving Beta the win by KO.
Beta vs. Sharko (Forfeit)
Beta vs. GRABOTBeta's next battle was against another newcomer, this time in GRABOT. Beta attempted to box rush its opponent and missed, but this didn't phase them and they went on the attack, slamming GRABOT hard into the arena barrier. GRABOT recovered, so Beta took them to the pulverizer, but only managed to cause very superficial damage with its own hammer. However, after bringing GRABOT back to the corner, Beta delivered multiple blows that left GRABOT's top armor caved in and smoke pouring out of GRABOT as a result. Beta final left off the assault and waited for the count out, which came and went, giving Beta the win by KO.
Beta vs. RibbotDespite the controversy surrounding its fight with ROTATOR, Beta finished unbeaten in the Fight Night rounds qualified for the Championship Tournament as the No.13 seed. In the Round of 32, they faced No.20 seed, Ribbot. For this fight, Beta was armed with an anti-vertical spinner configuration which came in the form of sloped armor. Unfortunately, this configuration was not useful, as Beta was first shoved across the arena before taking a barrage of hits from Ribbot, one of which ruptured the gas tank for the hammer. This left Beta very vulnerable and eventually they were left twitching on their side of the arena near the screws. Unable to move, they were counted out, giving Ribbot the win by relatively quick KO and eliminating Beta from the competition.
BattleBots: Bounty Hunters
Beta vs. Lock-JawBeta also participated in a mini bracket, but had to wait until it was over to find out their opponent, which turned out to be Donald Hutson and Lock-Jaw. Beta was armed with a similar anti-vertical spinner armor and an all-silver hammer, but started off the match looking for an opening and ended up losing sparks off its front. Beta continued to wait and was eventually sent airborne and onto its back. Beta was unable to right itself with its hammer despite it working, but was given help from its opponent. Beta tried to retaliate with a hammer blow, but only delivered a glancing blow. Beta was then flipped again and wasn't helped out this time as it was counted out, giving Lock-Jaw the win by KO and a piece of the prize money.
|BETA - RESULTS|
|ABC Season 1|
|Round of 24||vs. Tombstone||Forfeited|
|ABC Season 2|
|Round of 48||vs. Lucky||Won (JD)|
|Round of 32||vs. Overhaul (24)||Won (JD)|
|Round of 16||vs. Nightmare (25)||Won (KO)|
|Round of 8||vs. Tombstone (1)||Lost (JD)|
|Discovery Season 5|
|Fight Night||vs. ROTATOR||Won (JD)|
|NOTE: By filming order, Beta's match against ROTATOR took place after its other two Fight Night battles.|
|Fight Night||vs. Rusty||Won (KO)|
|Fight Night||vs. GRABOT||Won (KO)|
|NOTE: Beta was originally intended to face Sharko in its third fight, but it withdrew and GRABOT took its place.|
|Round of 32||vs. Ribbot (20)||Lost (KO)|
|BattleBots Bounty Hunters|
|Bounty Hunters - Beta Episode|
|Bounty Battle||vs. Lock-Jaw||Lost (KO)|
- Wins: 6
- Losses: 3
|ABC Season 1||None||None|
|ABC Season 2||Lucky||Tombstone|
|Discovery Season 5||ROTATOR (Undercard Match)
Rusty (Undercard Match)
GRABOT (Undercard Match)
|BattleBots: Bounty Hunters||None||Lock-Jaw|
* Beta's withdrawals from Season 5.0 and ABC Season 1 are not considered to be losses.
Faruq Tauheed Introductions
"I hope you brought your aspirin, because you’re about to get hammered. From the United Kingdom, BETA!"
"In this symphony of misery, you'd better B-sharp or this bot will make you B-flat! It's nothing but treble! It's BETA!"
"If it were a fraternity, it would be Phi Slamma Hamma! When it rushes the Box, you'll be housed! It's BETA!"
"If it were a disease, it would be called die-a-beat-es, and sugar, it's time for your next shot. It's BETA!"
"The hammer bot from the land of Camelot, It's so dashing, even the Brits think: *British accent* "Well, isn't it just smashing?" The heavy hittin' Briton, BETA!"
"This bot collects by the British pound, and all you'll hear is its hammer sound. You've never been hit with such a force from a machine that shows no remorse. It didn't come here for a spot of tea, and it certainly won't get your sympathy. God save the Queen, this bot is straight up mean. It's BETA!"
Any appearance by Beta in merchandise are listed below:
- Team Hurtz are the only British team to attend the first seven seasons of BattleBots, despite not competing in Season 5.0 and ABC Season 1.
- If Beta had been able to compete in Season 5.0, it would be one of only six robots to compete in both the original BattleBots on Comedy Central and the reboot on ABC and Discovery - the others being Warhead, Moebius, Complete Control, Son of Whyachi, and Nightmare.
- After Robot Wars had ended, Beta was taken to a barbecue and placed on a friend's lawn by John Reid, who tied it to two foot long rods that were driven into the ground. When John gave a demonstration of Beta's power, the force of its hammer pulled the pegs right out of the ground and Beta jumped in the air.
- Beta was the first UK-based team to receive a Hexbug BattleBots toy.
- In the pits during Comedy Central Season 5.0, Beta hung off a 1/8" steel sheet with Dominic Parkinson (who weighed 80kg) standing on the base of the 100kg Beta without falling off, showing how powerful the magnets of Beta were.
- Beta entered a UK live event under its Robot Wars pilot name Basher after the first season of ABC's BattleBots reboot had ended.
- It is known to have fought Chronic during the event.
- According to multiple teams present at filming for the 2020 season, Beta was originally set to fight Sharko for their third Fight Night battle until they were unable to repair their robot in time. GRABOT and Rampage were both considered to replace Sharko, but GRABOT was ready first and fought Beta instead.
- One of Beta's iconic hammers was sold after ABC Season 2 for £1,175 (~$1,600), money which went towards a collective charity raising money for Ty Cariad Africa.
- On July 13, 2022, another was listed for sale via eBay, alongside various other components from the ABC BattleBots build of Beta.
- KillerHurtz (BattleBots)
- Killerhurtz (Robot Wars)
- Terrorhurtz (Robot Wars)
- Tánshè (King of Bots/This is Fighting Robots)