The Sugiura family is really amazing when it comes to robots. Just before the Torino Olympics the Sugiura Brothers surprised and delighted all of us with their skiing robot. Yesterday, the Sugiura Sisters put on a great show with their Kappa robot. And today, at the Robo-One competition here in Tokyo, the Sugiura’s surprised everyone even more with a robot that can actually jump ? on one foot!
Most people outside of Japan tend to equate Robo-One robots with the head to head battles in the ring. That’s okay, because the battles are a big part of what Robo-One is all about.
But, just to make it into the ring the robots and their builders have to go through an initial competition that is really grueling. They have two minutes to present their robot to a group of top judges and put it through its paces. The clock is running, and there are hundreds of fans watching everything, and banks of video cameras (including ours) recording everything they say and every false step the robot makes. And, there are only 32 slots available. The pressure is intense. They have to survive that screening just to make it into the ring.
Of course, everyone does all they can to impress the judges to get as high a score as possible. Sometimes the pressure causes them to try something a little too hard, or a little beyond their robots ability. It’s not unusual to see some robots break, or parts fall off unexpectedly.
Somehow, with a tremendous amount of skill, know-how, and luck, the Sugiura family robots just seem to get better and better. As we mentioned before, the Sugiura Sisters did really well with their Kappa robot during the Robo-One J competition yesterday (we’ll have a video of the Kappa in action posted here soon).
Then today during the intial stage of this Robo-One competition, the Sugiura’s demonstrated their latest accomplishment - a version of their robot that is actually capable of jumping on just one foot: