Q. Why did Cambridge University enter Robot Wars?
A. They didn't.
Rob and Chris decided to enter Robot Wars in the Autumn of 1997, after seeing a feature in Bizarre Magazine. As members of the University's Engineering Society, they were able to use the Engineering Department's workshops after obtaining permission. When they started to contact Mentorn regularly, it became apparent that they had become the "Cambridge University Team". While this wasn't really a problem to them, it did give the impression that Mortis was an official University entrant. This isn't really fair on the University, since it puts their reputation on the line.
Q. How much did Mortis cost?
A. About £350 (US$500) for materials and components.
The only components purchased by Cambridge University were the transmitter, receiver and servos (at a cost of £140 - thanks Ken!). All the rest of the components were either
Most of this was due to Rob spending huge amounts of time phoning virtually every engineering company in the country, being "charming" and "persuasive".
Q. How does the axe work?
A. We're not telling
It's got an electric motor at one end, and a nasty big pointy thing at the other. We'd love to tell you how it works, but then we'd have to kill you.
Q. Could Mortis kill somebody?
When tested on bulletproof plastic, the axe had penetration equivalent to, or
better than, a .38 Magnum at point blank range. The top point of the axe's arc
is at groin height for Chris (He's 6'4"), so draw your own conclusions. Suffice to
say that it scares the team silly switching the
Plans to send Mortis into the College bar on the evening of the Jesus College Boat Club dinner are, as yet, unrealised.
Q. How much work was involved in building Mortis?
It took three months of solid work to design Mortis, source parts,
machine the mechanisms, construct the chassis, and get it working. When the team arrived at the competition, they were still without on/off switches for the motors and axe, and the axe was untested; they had tripled the running speed the day before, after finding they had surplus torque but a blade you could actually see moving. They became infamous for always having Mortis in pieces when they weren't filming, trying to get all the systems working for the next round.