When we visited the Sugiura Family a few weeks ago to gather material for an upcoming article in Robot Magazine, a very interesting part of the conversation was devoted to how larger robots fit into the ROBO-ONE competitive humanoid robot picture. That brought back memories of ROBO-ONE 7, just three short years ago, when a robot named MYRO-2 stepped into the ring literally towering over its competitors.
Tipping the scales at 8.0 kg and a height of 70 cm, MYRO-2 could easily sweep the average ROBO-ONE robot at the time off their feet. For example, in the video below you can see Metallic Fighter, a ROBO-ONE champion, do its best to make a dent in MYRO-2 with almost no impact. That particular version of Metallic Fighter was 2.5 kg and 40 cm tall, yet it couldn't begin to budge MYRO-2.
One of the surprising things about MYRO-2 was its stability. In spite of its gigantic size, it could still move around very easily and maintained its balance better than a lot of smaller robots.
While the ROBO-ONE committee didn't do anything to deliberately block or discourage builders from designing more extra-large size robots, they did try to make the matches much more equal and equitable. And, in the past year or so, they have started to encourage larger robots.
At ROBO-ONE 13, in just a couple weeks, we're likely to see quite a few robots in the 5 kg range. It will make the competition much more exciting, and realistic, while challenging the builders design skills to the limit. In any case, if this class of humanoid robot is ever going to go out into the real world and perform useful tasks, it definitely has to get a lot bigger.
Here's a short look at how MYRO-2 awed the crowds and competitors alike at ROBO-ONE 7 just a few years ago: