As we mentioned in a previous post, ONIMARU.2 is a very impressive robot, and it keeps improving and getting more impressive everyday. Several of our readers wrote in asking to see what ONIMARU.2 is like in action - up against a real opponent, not just water bottles. Unfortunately Yamaguchi-san wasn't able to have ONIMARU.2 participate in the recent ROBO-ONE 10 competition last month in Nagai, Japan.
However, thanks to Keishi Matsuda, the organizer of the Robo-Country IV competition, we are able to share some video clips (see below) taken this August during the final championship bout that pitted ONIMARU.2 against King Kizer.
First, we'd like to express our sincere thanks to Matsuda-san for making this video available. The Robo-Country IV competitions, held twice a year, in addition to being a lot of fun, also provide a valuable service to the local community. It is the largest regular ROBO-ONE type competition west of Osaka, and draws many of the top competitors. In addition to the bouts in the ring, the event also includes robot musicians like Mechabonham (our favorite robot rock star, and robot stage plays with groups like the Magic Machine from Osaka.
As Matsuda-san has told us on several occasions, the organizers and participants are really committed to sharing the excitement and challenge of robotics with the local community, especially the children. We think they're doing a wonderful job at it - you can certainly hear the energy and enthusiasm in the children's voices in the audience. Also, they are actively looking for entries from overseas and welcome foreign participation either in the bouts or performance categories.
Getting back to ONIMARU.2, we think it's safe to say that most of the event participants were surprised, maybe even shocked, by the robots ability. Many of the Japanese bloggers, including Maru-san - the creator of King Kizer - commented on how amazing ONIMARU.2 turned out to be. Maru-san actually relates in his event report that he was really struggling to find a way for King Kizer to defeat ONIMARU.2.
As it turned out, ONIMARU.2 did leave an opening at the last minute (not shown in this particular video), and King Kizer took advantage of the error to win the bout and the championship. Nevertheless, ONIMARU.2 turned in a great performance, and with around 5 months left until ROBO-ONE 11 next March, he has a lot of time to improve. Will he be able to defeat King Kizer, the current ROBO-ONE champion? It's going to be very interesting to find out. We certainly wouldn't bet against him...
Here's how ONIMARU.2 performed last August:
Robo-Country IV Website (English)
Robo-Country IV Website (Japanese)