Not many of our readers will be in Tokyo just before Christmas, but just in case you are here on December 23rd, the 17th Annual All Japan Robot Sumo tournament will be held at the Kokugikan - the place where the real Sumo matches are held.
For the Japanese 3 kg. class robot sumo competitor this is the top event of the year. Since September there have been a series of regional competitions. Only the top robots make it all the way to the finals. For example, there were hundreds of entries at the Kanto regionals in October, but only 7 autonomous and 7 R/C controlled robots made the cut.
Last year's competition
For the finals, 64 autonomous and 64 R/C robots will face off (1:1 of course). The doors open at 10:30 am, with the opening ceremonies scheduled for 11:00 am. Assuming that everything goes according to the published schedule, the event will finish before 3:00 pm. One suggestion - if you plan on attending, come early. Events like this frequently wrap a little earlier than scheduled when robots, or their operators, experience "technical difficulties."
We plan on attending, and will post a report after the event, so if you're there and you see a tall foreigner with a camera that seems rather obsessed by robots, please come up and say hello.
17th Annual All Japan Robot Sumo Tournament Webpage - (Japanese)
Robot Sumo articles - some include photos and videos of Japanese competitions (English)