It's already Thursday, July 13th, here in Japan, which means there is very little time left to enter the mid-August ROBO-ONE J and ROBO-ONE Special competitions. As of this morning there are already 44 entries for the ROBO-ONE J event. Even if we assume that a few robots decide to retire prior to the competition, it's still a large number of entries for what should turn out to be a very exciting day. If ROBO-ONE J gets any larger, they will have to expand the schedule to two days similar to the regular ROBO-ONE events.
The ROBO-ONE Special competition should prove to be full of surprises since the committee has made some of the challenges much more difficult. For example, in the Eagle contest the sloping pole at the beginning is now going to be perfectly horizontal. This will require the robots to do a lot more work with their hands and swinging their bodies. In previous competitions many of them, especially those without functional 'hands' or grippers, could use gravity and momentum to slide down the pole. We expect to see some innovative new designs show up to challenge the course. It's going to be a whole lot of fun.