We've always known that Maeda-san is an absolute robot creation wizard. This afternoon, during the "demonstration" stage, of ROBO-ONE 11, he proved that he is not just a 'ordinary wizard', he is actually the 'supreme wizard', far and away. His robot, OmniZero.4, totally aced the competition, grabbing first place on the first day with an outstanding score of 453. The closest robot competitor, Majingaa, was 21 points behind at 432, still a very impressive score.
All the videos haven't been processed yet - actually our camera batteries ran out when we were transferring files this evening after the competition and need to be recharged. However, we did manage to put together a short video clip (included below) featuring OmniZero.4 practicing in the ring early this morning. It should give you a very good idea of what the robot is capable of, and why the judges rated it so highly.
Less than 48 hours ago, Maeda-san was working long after midnight to fix a frame member that had broken in half completely unexpectedly. He wasn't sure that he would be able to fix the problem, but, in typical Japanese fashion, he put his head down and got to work, repaired the frame, packed all his equipment, and ran off to catch the Shinkansen (bullet train) for the three hour trip to Tokyo.
Even after he arrived at the ROBO-ONE venue, there were still lots of challenges and last minute tuning to take care of. Maeda is used to working under pressure, and has designed and built roughly two new humanoids every year for many, many years gone by.
OmniZero.4 incorporates a lot of changes from the earlier OmniZero robots. We get into the details later, but you can see in the photo above that the body/frame has changed considerably. The grippers are designed extremely well, and were put to good use for the 'demonstration' portion of the competition. There's also that intriguing array across the robots chest area. They almost look like IR or optoelectronic sensors.
Here's OmniZero.4 practicing a small part of his amazing ROBO-ONE 11 demonstration routine. Enjoy: