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Monsoon is a heavyweight robot hailing from the United Kingdom, which competed in Discovery Seasons 3 and 4 of the BattleBots reboot.

Team Monsoon were also accepted for the 2020 and 2021 seasons of BattleBots, but had to withdraw both times due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. The team have since confirmed their application for Discovery Season 7.[1]

It is a two-wheel drive, black and blue robot armed with a powerful vertical spinning weapon made from HARDOX 500 steel and spinning at upwards of 244mph.[2] For Discovery Season 3, Monsoon ran on a pair of NPC-T64 brushed motors and sported an asymmetric bar spinner, though more options were added as the bot's design evolved. The robot was uniquely designed in a way that its weapon module is designed to pivot so that it appears identical even if overturned, and its feeder forks at the front would remain on the floor. Monsoon impressed many in its debut season, reaching the quarter-finals of the competition before falling to eventual runner-up Minotaur. At the end of the season, Team Monsoon won the Founders Award for the 2018 season, presented by BattleBots co-founders Greg Munson and Trey Roski.

While Sam Griffin and Tim Rackley were absent from the team for Discovery Season 4, the latter joining forces with Jack Tweedy to compete with Ragnarök, Team Monsoon picked up several experienced builders to compensate. These included long-term competitor Rory Mangles, who previously paired up with Craig Danby and Predator in the previous season, as well as Alasdair Sutherland. The robot itself had largely retained its look, but had a handful of upgrades to improve its strength and reliability. Notably, Monsoon now had the option of a brushless motor powering its weapon, and it sported a stronger chassis constrution which was also wider than before. Additional angles bent into the front armor, with the team stating this was a tactical change to prevent it being a catching point for spinners, as was the case versus Son of Whyachi in the season prior.[3] However, the bot showed up to filming weighing 260lbs (118kg), so had to make compromises and last minute adjustments to adhere to the weight limit. This included swapping the brushless motor for the weapon back out, increasing their spinup time to eight seconds.[4] As such, the team were only ever able to keep the bot in weight Monsoon won just one battle in the Fight Night rounds, losing three times before winning a Tag Team battle which saw Tim Rackley and Tom Brewster reunited once more.

"Buffed up chassis, brushless drive, tweaked armour shape. Mostly a case of “if it ain’t broke”, however almost everything broke."
— Tom Brewster describes changes to Monsoon between the 2018 and 2019 seasons.

Monsoon's 2020 season reveal to Facebook Supporters.

Monsoon was accepted and completely rebuilt ahead of Discovery Season 5. The robot itself was now considerably smaller and each drive pods now articulated independently. Other improvements included but were not limited to fully brushless drive and weapon systems, a revised weapon mount, numerous armor configurations to suit horizontal spinners, and longer forks added the top and bottom to get underneath opponents more easily. Monsoon now has three main weapon options: the traditional 18kg bar spinner, a newly-cut 17kg bar and a 20kg disc. However, due to travel restrictions imposed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Monsoon had no choice but to withdraw their application despite being accepted in the initial roster for the 2020 season.

The size difference illustrated between the 2019 build of Monsoon (left) and the most recent version.

Monsoon in 2021.

Monsoon was accepted for Discovery Season 6 of Battlebots, however could not compete due to their NIE VISAs being turned down by the state department. Although the team's crate arrived in Las Vegas without trouble, the team were unable to travel and were forced to withdraw from the competition. This was an issue which affected all UK teams ahead of filming for the 2021 season.[5] Despite back-to-back seasons of being unable to attend, Team Monsoon confirmed they had applied for Discovery Season 7.

Robot History[]

Discovery Season 3[]

Monsoon vs. Red Devil

Monsoon tosses Red Devil into the air in the opening seconds.

Monsoon's first opponent was against veteran Red Devil. As the match began, things were going well for Monsoon as its first attack smacked Red Devil into the air, which was quickly followed up by another hit that took off Red Devil's saw blade.

Monsoon destroys Red Devil's saw.

However, the impacts took its toll on Monsoon too as its weapon eventually stopped working. This was a result of the weapon spinning the wrong way once Monsoon was flipped and eating a piece of Red Devil, which jammed the weapon[6]. This reduced the match to a pushing match. Monsoon continued to attack as smoke began pouring out from the weapon as it was attempting to spin and managed to prevent much of Red Devil's control by raising its chassis upwards each time Red Devil wanted control.

Both weaponless robots pushing each other in the second half of the match.

Time ran out just after Red Devil took a shot from the killsaws and the judges awarded a 2-1 split decision for Monsoon.  

Monsoon vs. Petunia

Monsoon now found itself up against Petunia, whom was fresh off a win against Rotator.

Monsoon strikes Petunia and ruptures its hydraulics.

Monsoon's weapon began to spin up to top speed, and after nearly getting caught by Petunia, took advantage of the Dutch machine driving into the wall by landing a destructive hit on its rear, causing hydraulic fluid used to power Petunia's weapon to leak out. Petunia kept going so Monsoon hit it hard enough to flip it completely over, only to land upright. Even so, Petunia kept coming so Monsoon dealt it another blow and smoke began pouring out of its opponent, which also stopped Monsoon's weapon.

Monsoon sends Petunia packing.

Both robots continued to maneuver around until Petunia got high-centered on the arena floor while Monsoon lost traction due to the amount of hydraulic fluid on the arena floor and could no longer move.[7]

Petunia burning while Monsoon is no longer moving.

By the time Monsoon was able to move again it  could only get traction on one side, but by then Petunia had burst into flames and still couldn't move. Petunia was counted out and Monsoon won by KO.

Monsoon vs. Son of Whyachi

Monsoon's next opponent was Son of Whyachi, a former BattleBots champion of the Comedy Central era. Monsoon started strongly as they weren't taking any major damage from their opponent, however, that quickly changed as Monsoon took a hit from Son of Whyachi that flipped it over.

The first contact between the two bots.

Monsoon quickly self-righted, but then took more hits from Son of Whyachi, the latter of which sent both robots flying into opposite corners of the BattleBox. Monsoon retaliated by landing a hit on Son of Whyachi's hammers that sent its opponent flying but landing upright.

SOW rips off Monsoon's left-side armor panel.

This hit took out Monsoon's weapon as it was now bent out of shape and the brackets supporting it had broken, leaving it virtually defenseless to its opponent's attacks. Making matters worse, the next attack took off one of its two front armor panels before Monsoon took the final blow from Son of Whyachi that ruptured its battery and started to fill the arena with smoke.

Monsoon smoking and immobile.

Monsoon was still capable of some movement but its driver opted to just not move as it was unlikely that the movement would've been enough to continue the bout. Monsoon was counted out, giving Son of Whyachi the KO. Monsoon had a 360 degree camera attached for this fight but it got thrown off to the edge of the box by an early hit, however it carried on filming and BattleBots posted the BotCam clips on YouTube.[8]

Monsoon vs. Axe Backwards

Monsoon hits Axe Backwards.

Monsoon's next opponent was Axe Backwards, which was still striving for a win thus far. This match was off to an aggressive start as Monsoon delivered two big hits on Axe Backwards' wheels. Axe Backwards had lost all driving ability but its drum was still working. Axe Backwards was counted out and Monsoon showed no interest in taking a hit to the still-spinning drum of its opponent and took the win by KO. The selection committee determined that Monsoon did enough to make the Top 16 as No.12 seed.

Monsoon vs. SawBlaze

SawBlaze's wheel snaps off.

For its first match in the knockout bracket, Monsoon was drawn up against No.5, Jamison Go and SawBlaze. The match started off poorly for Monsoon as SawBlaze got underneath Monsoon's ground clearance and shoved them around the arena. However, after SawBlaze missed a charge, Monsoon managed to get at its backside and tore into SawBlaze's rightmost tire on that side of the drive then quickly followed with another hit that ripped out part of the saw arm, rendering it useless and leaving SawBlaze to use its dustpan. SawBlaze continued to shove Monsoon into the sides of the arena, until one charge pressed Monsoon weapon-first against the wall, and would have likely broken their spinner had Tim Rackley not turned the weapon off a few seconds before the impact. After Jamison Go released Monsoon, he left the right side of his robot open to attack and Monsoon capitalized, ripping off rubber and immobilizing SawBlaze's right-side wheel, meaning it could only drive in circles.

Monsoon lands a powerful blow to SawBlaze's primary weapon.

Monsoon continued its onslaught, knocking SawBlaze around before one huge hit on one of their forks caused SawBlaze's right wheel - which was barely holding on from a previous hit - to snap clean off. A combined hit from Monsoon and the kill saws knocked SawBlaze's saw arm over, before Monsoon ripped off more rubber off SawBlaze's remaining wheel, then delivered a massive shot to the saw that knocked it back over into its original position. Another hit by Monsoon, this time on SawBlaze's left wheel, left the saw robot fully immobilized, but it couldn't be counted out as there were less than 20 seconds left in the fight.

An immobilised SawBlaze, with one of its' dragon heads removed.

Knowing this, Team Monsoon backed off a little, spun their weapon up and in the final moments of the fight, smacked one of the decorative dragon heads off of SawBlaze's saw arm and smacking the whole weapon up to the highest angle on its axle, before it dropped back to the floor as the buzzer sounded. The judges ruled unanimously in favor of Monsoon, allowing them to advance to the Top 8.

Monsoon vs. Minotaur

Monsoon is overwhelmed in the opening seconds.

Now in the quarter-finals, Tom Brewster had to face Brazil's Team RioBotz and Minotaur. This match was pretty even to start as neither robot was able to get the upper hand. Monsoon holding its own in the opening seconds, with glancing shots doing little more than kicking up the articulating drive pods. Monsoon threw its face into Minotaur's drum, tossing itself over and showing its back end to the Brazilian bot. In these exchanges, Monsoon's weapon belt had been removed and no longer had a working primary weapon. Pushing the British bot around, Monsoon was then toppled onto its side and taken to the arena barrier, where its awkward angle prevented its drive wheels from touching the arena floor. Unable to move, they were counted out, eliminating them from the tournament and ending an impressive debut season for Monsoon.

Discovery Season 4[]

Monsoon vs. Ragnarök

Monsoon and Ragnarök collide in the opening seconds.

Monsoon returned for Discovery Season 4 and found themselves against former team member Tim Rackley, who had paired with Jack Tweedy and Ragnarök. In response, the team replaced Monsoon's 6mm front armor with 3mm, which gave them the spare weight to add HARDOX plates beneath the plastic top and bottom armor to protect their vital electronics from Ragnarök's weaponry. As the match began, Monsoon was able to pop Ragnarök into the air, but it landed upright after missing their first swing. Monsoon went in with another hit and smoke began to pour out of Ragnarök, now overturned and suffering from Monsoon's assault. They made an attempt to right their opponent to continue the fight, but Ragnarök was counted out, giving Monsoon its first win of the 2019 season.

Monsoon vs. HyperShock

Sparks fly as Monsoon and HyperShock's weapons come together.

Next for Monsoon was veteran Will Bales and HyperShock. Team Monsoon opted to go with thicker front armor ahead of the fight to protect themselves from HyperShock's own vertical spinner. They faced early pressure from HyperShock as they got under Monsoon and started to tear away at their underbelly. Monsoon was released, but its weapon was now ineffective due to the weapon mount bolts coming loose and leaving the mount to dangle helplessly. This was due to the team using circlips instead of nuts to hold the weapon bulkheads in place, which came loose early in the battle. After the next attack from HyperShock, Monsoon had lost its weapon, the mounting for it, as well as the belt driving it. Monsoon was counted out, giving HyperShock the win by KO. Following this, Team Monsoon were helped by The Chaos Corps in order to prepare for their next matchup.

Monsoon vs. Valkyrie

Monsoon and Valkyrie do battle.

Monsoon next found itself against Valkyrie, adding extra titanium to its weapon mount to reinforce it following damage caused by HyperShock. Monsoon did rather well to start as they met with Valkyrie's weapon but withstood the early impacts. However, first big hit between the two spinners disabled Monsoon's primary weapon, leaving them to try and push their opponent around for the second fight in a row. Monsoon found itself thrown across the arena by Valkyrie, as it was able to remain aggressive for the bulk of the fight. Monsoon remained mobile but suffered more damage as it kept fighting Valkyrie. They lost their makeshift front wedge and eventually, their weapon system came loose once again. This resulted in Monsoon lifting its underside up, allowing Valkyrie to grind its weapon mount, armor and some of its left tire. Still, Monsoon pressed on to a judges' decision, but they ruled unanimously for Valkyrie.

"The brushless motor we used was selected as it was almost a perfect drop in replacement for our existing weapon motor, but at about half the power. The weapon would reach the same tip speed of 250mph, but would take about 9 seconds to do it - the same spin up time as Valkyrie."
— Team Monsoon explain why they could not box rush Valkyrie.

Monsoon vs. Bite Force

The initial collision that kicked Monsoon onto its back.

Monsoon's last chance at getting a win came in the form of the then two-time champion Bite Force. As a result, Monsoon opted for lighter top armor, a heavier weapon bar and the stronger motor from last season. Monsoon started off rather poorly as they were quickly thrown through the air by Bite Force. Monsoon then took a second hit that caused them to hit the arena floor with their bar, chipping the floor a bit, and stop working upon landing. Monsoon was counted out, giving Bite Force the win by KO.

Monsoon & Ragnarök vs. Chronos & MadCatter

Tom Brewster and Tim Rackley reunited.

Monsoon inflicts damage to Chronos as both parts of MadCatter try to attack.

Monsoon also fought alongside Ragnarök against Chronos and MadCatter as part of a Tag Team exhibition match. As the match got going, Monsoon was immediately on the attack, but not causing much damage. Monsoon then attacked MadCatter and tore off its axe head. Monsoon was then high-centered by MadCatter's minibot before Chronos came in and hit it, but not doing much damage. Afterwards, Monsoon ripped part of Chronos' spinning ring away, leaving it off-balanced and hurt from the attack. Monsoon was eventually left fighting alone as Ragnarök had stopped working, but took out MadCatter's minibot, attacked Chronos and split MadCatter before time ran out. The judges awarded Monsoon and Ragnarök a unanimous 3-0 decision.

Team Monsoon in 2019 with their post-season award.


At the end of the season, Team Monsoon won the Founders Award for the competition.

Results[]

MONSOON - RESULTS
Discovery Season 3
Fight Nights
3-1
Fight Night vs. Red Devil Won (Split JD)
Fight Night vs. Petunia Won (KO)
Fight Night vs. Son of Whyachi Lost (KO)
Fight Night vs. Axe Backwards Won (KO)
Top 16
12th seed
Round of 16 vs. SawBlaze (5) Won (JD)
Rund of 8 vs. Minotaur (4) Lost (KO)
Discovery Season 4
Fight Nights
1-3
Fight Night vs. Ragnarök Won (KO)
Fight Night vs. HyperShock Lost (KO)
Fight Night vs. Valkyrie Lost (JD)
Fight Night vs. Bite Force Lost (KO)
Exhibition Matches
Team Match (with Ragnarök) vs. Chronos & MadCatter Won (JD)

Wins/Losses[]

  • Wins: 6
  • Losses: 5
Competition Wins Losses
Discovery Season 3

Red Devil (Undercard Match)

Petunia (Undercard Match)

Axe Backwards (Undercard Match)

SawBlaze

Son of Whyachi (Undercard Match)

Minotaur

Discovery Season 4

Ragnarök (Undercard Match)

Chronos and MadCatter (Exhibition Tag Team Match)

HyperShock (Undercard Match)

Valkyrie (Undercard Match)

Bite Force (Undercard Match)

Faruq Tauheed Introductions[]

"This high-pressure fighter is gonna make it rain. The forecast, rowdy with a 100% chance... of pain. Seek shelter, it's MONSOON!"

"Coming across the pond like James Bond, ready to send you to double-o-heaven, and leave you shaken, not stirred, it's MONSOON"

"Hi. It's Faruq, your friendly weatherman here, and I'd just like to say... GET INSIDE YOUR DAMN HOUSE!!! HERE COMES A MONSOON!!!"

"It's a British invasion. I am the walrus. I am the A-man and this is the robot... MONSOON!"

"This bot will leave you washed up. Prepare to cower under its tidal wave of power. It's MONSOON!"

"ARR! A storm's a brewin' so batten down the hatches. This bot's forecast is to destroy all of its matches. It's the stormin' deformin' - I don't think it's Mormon - MONSOON!"

"If this bot was a lip-syncing pop duo, he'd be Milli Vakilli. When you feel his pain, blame it on the rain. Girl you know you're through, ooh ooh ooh. It's MONSOON!"

"Pain pain, go away. Kill again some other day. If you precipitate, then you'll seal your fate. Prepare to get soaked 'til you croak, by MONSOON!"

"From the UK, it smacks your bot with its spinner and totally wrecks it, and creates a disaster that's way worse than Brexit. What, too soon? It still don't care, it's MONSOON!"

"If this bot were a nanny, it would be Mary Choppins because it's Super-deadly-crash-and-twist-and-crush-you-alidocious. It's MONSOON!"

"It's the perfect storm. It brings the thunder, boom boom boom. It's MONSOON!"

See Also[]

Trivia[]

  • Monsoon was one of just four robots of the 2018 season's Top 16 to not have any of its fights featured as a Main Event. The others were Son of Whyachi, Rotator, and WAR Hawk.
  • In his build log, Tom Brewster confirmed Monsoon is essentially the design that would have fought as Tauron Mk. III if Robot Wars had been renewed for another series.
  • During BattleBots Resurrection, it was revealed Team Monsoon were loaned a motor from Team HyperShock during Discovery Season 3. When offering to pay for it, the HyperShock team agreed they could have it for free.

References[]

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