Mortis was a heavyweight robot from the United Kingdom which entered the BattleBots Las Vegas 1999 event and Season 2.0. A tracked robot built by Random Violence Technologies, its main weapons were an electrically-driven axe with a custom-forged head modelled on Japanese tantō knives, as well as a rear-hinged lifting arm, which could allow Mortis to lift 100kg and self-right. At the time of its BattleBots appearances, Mortis’s construction also incorporated a variety of aerospace-grade materials, including aluminum, Kevlar, carbon fiber and titanium. Later on, the robot’s armor received an abrasive silicon carbide coating, which effectively made Mortis diamond-coated.
In BattleBots, Mortis had a mixed run of success, initially reaching the quarter-finals of the 1999 Las Vegas event before losing to Voltarc on a judges’ decision. After initially receiving a bye, and benefiting from Berzerker 2000’s forfeit, Mortis reached the round of 16 in Season 2.0, where it was immobilized by Nightmare. However, it would receive the 'Most Aggressive Robot' award in Season 2.0.
Mortis was originally built to compete in Robot Wars, taking part in Series 1-4 of the original run. It also enjoyed a mixed run there, winning the 'Best Engineered Robot' award in Series 1, reaching the Semi-Finals of Series 2 and winning its final competition, the Series 4 War of Independence, over frenZy. However, Mortis never managed to progress beyond the heats in any other main series appearance.
Following the retirement of the original Mortis, Random Violence Technologies initially began constructing a new version for Series 5 of Robot Wars. The new version kept a similar shape and axe weapon to the original robot, while also featuring new tracks, a four-bar lifting arm and custom two-speed gearboxes for both the tracks and axe. These gearboxes, built by Arthur Chilcott, would have allowed the new Mortis to reach a top speed of either 5 or 30mph, and its axe to double as a lifter. Random Violence Technologies also planned to enter a future season of the original BattleBots with Maelstrom, a full-body spinner with translational drift capabilities. This name was also intended to be applied to a variant of the second-generation Mortis, sporting a different axe and armor configuration to the standard version. However, due to various commitments outside of robot combat, Random Violence Technologies would not complete or enter any competitions with either robot.
In 2009, Mortis and its unfinished successor (later known as Rigormortis) were sold to Team Bud, who initially planned to restore both robots to working condition. The original robot was later given to John Findlay of Team Roaming Robots, and is currently owned by Team Make Robotics alongside Rigormortis.
Team captain Rob Knight would eventually return for ABC Season 2 with The Obwalden Overlord.
Las Vegas 1999
Mortis immediately went straight towards Tazbot, swinging its axe, but missing. Tazbot then got underneath Mortis and began to lift it. Mortis was about a foot in the air when Tazbot's arm actuator snapped, dropping Mortis and allowing it to attack Tazbot with its axe once again. The battle went to the judges, who ruled 6-3 in favor of Mortis.
Mortis then moved on to face Voltarc in the heavyweight quarterfinals. Voltarc got underneath Mortis very early on, lifting it and pushing it into the spikestrip. After Voltarc let it back down, Mortis got some blows in with its axe before being lifted and flipped by Voltarc. Mortis used its own lifting arm to self right and got some more axe blows in, but once again was driven under by Voltarc, before being pushed around and lifted up. Mortis tried to use its lifter against Voltarc, but failed, allowing Voltarc to get underneath Mortis and drag it to the killsaws, despite Mortis trying to free itself using its axe. Mortis eventually escaped and failed to lift Voltarc yet again. Towards the end of the fight, it finally managed to flip Voltarc over and get underneath it, managing to get a few final axe blows in before time ran out. Despite this late effort and winning in terms of statistics, the judges ruled a 6-3 decision in favor of Voltarc, eliminating Mortis.
Mortis wasn't finished, however, as it participated the heavyweight rumble at the end of the tournament. It performed reasonably well, using its lifter to good effect, but was defeated after getting flipped over by BioHazard whilst its lifting arm was up- getting stuck on its front wedge and leaving it unable to self-right.
Mortis got a bye in season 2.0 allowing it to skip to the round of 32. Mortis then had Berzerker 2000 as its first opponent, however Berzerker 2000 forfeited the fight. Mortis won by default and advanced to the round of 16, where it faced Nightmare.
Mortis started the fight by turning tail and running away from Nightmare. This left Mortis' back end exposed and Nightmare took the opportunity and hit Mortis' back end. Mortis then bypassed Nightmare's weapon and began to attack Nightmare's body, only to miss and the axe shaft to hit instead of the tanto blade. Mortis did this for a while and after that, the fight was stopped as Nightmare and Mortis had gotten stuck together.
Nightmare and Mortis resumed fighting and Nightmare hit Mortis with its disc. Mortis retaliated by pushing Nightmare onto the killsaws, but stopped moving. Mortis then had some of its titanium armor sent flying off by Nightmare but Mortis was already immobilized. Nightmare won by KO and Mortis was eliminated from the tournament again.
Mortis wasn't finished, however, as it participated the heavyweight royal rumble at the end of the tournament. Unfortunately, Mortis was flipped over by BioHazard and Suicidal Tendencies pushed it against the spikestrip. In the end, Tazbot was declared the winner of the heavyweight royal rumble and Mortis lost overall. This officially ended Mortis' Season 2.0 run.
- Wins: 3
- Losses: 2
|Las Vegas 1999||Voltarc|
Berzerker 2000 (Forfeit)
Mark Beiro Introductions
"From Croydon, Surrey, in the United Kingdom, weighing in at in at 195-and-a-half pounds. From the creative mind of Rob Knight, and supported by the team of Random Violence Technology. Introducing... MORTIS!"
"He will fight to the death- the opponent's death, that is! Here is MORTIS!"
- Mortis' name comes from the Latin word for death.
- Mortis was one of the few "Most Aggressive" robots to have fought another "Most Aggressive": Nightmare.