Controlling a robot is hard enough, but during the heat of battle with head to head combat, trying to use a modified game controller or airplane R/C control is extremely difficult. But some of the Japanese Robo-One robot designers have come up with a really unique way to control their robots.
They use a body harness equipped with servos, and feed the positional information through the remote control and on to the robot. In competition it looks a little strange to have the person controlling the robot standing to the side of the ring rapidly waving his, or her, arms in the air and twisting their bodies like Cubby Checker – but it works, and works extremely well.
In the photos and video below, you can see a contest between the Great Majingaa (the one on the left that looks like Gundam) and TokoTokoMaru. Majingaa’s operator is the son of the robot designer, and is wearing the control harness and standing just behind the ring.
The Great Majingaa consistently places at the top of the Robo-One competitions here, so the control harness seems to be working extremely well. In the video below, we’ve repeated the same clip from the competition twice – once at normal speed, and then the second time slowed down by half so that you can get a better idea of what’s going on.
Personally, I would love to see this design approach used for a Robosapien V2, or Roboraptor. It would make competitions between robots – I mean physical battles, like knock-down, drag-out, only one leaves the ring alive – much easier, and a heck of a lot more fun.