Sometimes the simplest approaches to a problem turn out to be the best. That's certainly true of the RCS BRAVE Robot competitions, held regularly in Kawasaki, Japan. The event organizers have gone to great lengths to keep the rules as simple and straight forward as possible, and to encourage active participation by robot builders of all ages and experience levels.
For example, the Wrestle Quad competitions have basic weight and height limitations, but allow the robot builders a tremendous amount of freedom in their designs.
And, predictably, the builders end up using a wide variety of different strategies - some that work out very successfully, and others that never seem to get off the ground.
The objective of Wrestle Quad is to tip or tilt your opponent over. Doing that one on one might seem easy enough, but as the name 'Quad' implies, there are four robots in the ring at the same time, so you constantly have to watch your back, and the other three sides as well.
The playing field looks like this:
Each robot starts on one of the yellow squares, then has to race down the side and make a sharp right turn to enter the ring to do battle. Often, if you can be the first one to enter the ring you have a strong advantage and can attack others as they try to enter.
The ring surface is uneven, which not only makes moving around more difficult, it also allows your opponents some access to get underneath your robot and try to tip it over. Robots that are tipped over are lifted out of the ring, placed back on their yellow square, and have to enter again, losing precious time. In the rare case where two or more robots tie, the winner is declared to be the robot closes to the center of the ring.
It's important to understand that like most Japanese competitions, the robots are not trying to damage or destroy each other in anyway. They are designed just to tip each other over, pure and simple, though sometimes a little damage does inadvertently happen, and everyone involved apologizes profusely.
Here's a look at some of the action:
RCS BRAVE Robot Competition - Kawasaki, Japan (Japanese)