Techno Games 2002

We arrived at the Shepperton studios in London, filimg took place between the 14th - 19th December 2001, the programme was aired in March 2002. We shared a table with the Smith twins (all three of them) lovely, lovely people who we knew of by reputation - having only seen them on the TV with their Robot Wars robot Plunderbird. In Techno Games they entered their robot Stealth Stingray, which looked quite impressive, and later we found that it had a secret and invisible weapon ;) Our first race was in the quarter finals with Jigosaurus, Turnturtle, Roboduck, Buoy-Ant in lane 4, then Stealth Stingray in lane 5.

3,2,1 go and Jigosaurus shot off at great speed and promptly stopped when his drive chain fell off. Roboduck and Turnturtle were powering away, however Turnturtle turned to the right and started dragging along the pool wall Stealth Stingray had set off at a moderate pace in a very straight line. Our course was rather irratic we shot straight across Stealth Stingray turned shot back into our lane and tried to straighten up again.

At this point Roboduck was finishing (19.40 seconds). Stealth Stingray was still powering along, but Simon managed to get us pointing in the right direction again and although we again veered into Stealth Stingray's lane, our speed in a straight-ish line meant that we overtook and pipped them to the post, making it through to the semifinals.

During the interval for dinner we managed to stick Buoy-Ant into the pool to check his trim and discovered that he was too heavy at the back so we tie wrapped a tub of screws and nuts towards the front of our chassis to even our keel, it worked like a dream and buoyant went in a straighter line. In the semifinals, we had Turtle Duck, Cyber Duck, us in lane 3 and Brutosaurus. Cyber Duck veared into our lane so they cut straight across us causing us to slowdown. Brutosaurus in lane 4 was having technical difficulties, their team were frantically fiddling trying to start him. Turtle Duck was plodding along. Cyberduck meanwhile had careered off the poolside and was heading back to cut us up again. We were slightly ahead but they were beginning to lean on one of our floats.

At this point Brutosaurus stormed past and banged into the pool next to the end. I feared we'd be turned round by Cyber Duck so I braked and tried to take a new course, but it was too late our stopping meant that cyber Duck shot past and finished just after Brutosaurus. We finished shortly after, and Turtle Duck strolled in some time later. And so that was it, time to head home, there was always next year!

Techno Games 2003

Buoyant was given an upgrade for the 2003 games, the most effective change being to extend the stroke of the legs so the paddles dipped deeper into the water, and also took longer strides. This resulted in a much faster Buoyant.

In our first race we streaked ahead completing the race in 11.22 seconds, just under the world record time.

This proved to be our undoing, as in the second race, instead of racing the competing robots, we raced against the clock, and pushed Buoyant too far, which resulted in a mechanical failure and Buoyant capsizing. This was great news for the other robots who chugged along happily. Definately a case of the rabbit and the tortoise!

Debs was quite upset with this but Simon found it quite amusing. It doesn't do to take these thing too seriously :)

Buoyant Evo 3 is currently on loan to Derby Silk Mill Museum of Making (March 2016 - Current Date).