It's been a few days since the 9th Robo-One competition wrapped up here in Tokyo, so the Japanese fans and competitors have had the time to sort through their photos, videos, and great memories, and have started to post about the competition on their weblogs. Almost everyone seems to have been astounded by the performance and abilities of the OmniZero.2 robot created by Maeda-san.
Maeda-san's robots are always crowd pleasers, and manage to capture one of the top positions during the competitions.
Unfortunately, it's kind of a "always a bridesmaid, but never the bride" story. For example, OmniZero won 2nd place during the demonstration phase of the 7th Robo-One competition, OmniCovered won 2nd place in the same event for the 6th Robo-One competition, OmniStriker won 1st place in the same event for the 5th Robo-One competition, etc. But, none of them have won the top prize in the final competition.
Nevertheless, Maeda-san's work is always pushing the curve - real state of the art designs as far as Robo-One type robots are concerned. His robots movements and behaviors model real human beings to an amazing degree.
And he doesn't depend on "flash and trash" like some of the other competitors. By that we mean that other than the eye-catching red/orange color, his robots distinquish themselves by virtue of their superb engineering design rather than unique tricks like SF style manipulators or fancy costumes.
The absolute best OmniZero.2 video we've seen so far was posted by the March Hare on the popular Robot-Fan.net website (see link below). It shows the robot at its best as it defeats most, but not all, of the Robo-One competition during the contest here last weekend.
There are also some very interesting videos on Maeda-san's website showing OmniZero.2 trying specific challenges like getting up, running, and jumping. OmniZero.2, it turns out, can actually jump with both feet off the ground to a height of 3 cm and remain totally stable without falling over.
We plan to visit Osaka in early May for the Robo-Fight competition and hope to be able to find out more about Maeda-san and his amazing robot creations.
OmniZero.2 video on Robot-Fan.net [Japanese]
OmniZero.2 running video Demonstrates the robot's ability to accelerate then stop suddenly while remaining stable
Maeda-san's robot website [Japanese]