It turns out that the weblog posts about the ROBO-ONE Special course getting tougher were right on the money. On Tuesday the updated specifications for the upcoming August competition were released (see links below), and the Eagle part of the challenge has gotten considerably more challenging.
As we previously reported, the hanging bar at the beginning of the course is now level - it used have a slight incline. During previous Special competitions the robots could slide down the bar, though sometimes they had to use their arms to keep momentum going.
Now with the bar level the robots will definitely have to use their arms, and all their strength, to swing across in monkey fashion.
During one of the competitions, we seem to recall the 2004 contest held in Asakusa - but our memory could be faulty, one of the entries even used a large orange balloon for suspension while crossing the bar/pole obstacle.
Assuming that they survive the bar, the next challenge is a rapidly spinning turntable. We saw a similar challenge in Osaka last month for the Robo-Fight 3 obstacle course event, and very few of the robots could manage it successfully.
The swinging Western-style bar door hazard shouldn't be too difficult, although the ROBO-ONE committee wouldn't waste their time and energy coming up with a trival challenge, so there must be some difficulty involved that isn't obvious to us at first glance. Perhaps it has something to do with the width of the doors and the narrow ledge right after the robot passes through the doorway.
The next hazard seems to be a narrow "L" shaped seesaw bridge that will require extreme balance, careful steps and a really accurate 90 degree turn.
Then it's up a flight of stairs, onto a platform, and then a 30 mm jump down that will definitely require some careful planning if the robot is to land on it's feet without falling over. It will probably have to execute an "up and forward" jump manuever so that it's body stays vertical and it's feet parallel to the ground. Of course it could fall over, then stand up again, but the official timer doesn't stop until the robot is completely standing erect at the end of the course.
It's definitely going to be interesting, even for the most advanced ROBO-ONE robots and their designers, especially given the fact that they have very little time to prepare.
ROBO-ONE Eagle Specifications (Japanese)
ROBO-ONE Eagle Specifications (English via Babelfish)