People frequently put-down the hobby humanoid robot movement by pointing out that the robots are operated by remote control. Apparently they feel that the design is similar to controlling an R/C car or plane. Based on our own personal experience, nothing could be further from the truth. Humanoid robotics, even at the hobby level, is much more complex, challenging, and demanding, than driving an R/C car.
Nevertheless, the whole debate is about to become totally irrelevant. Over the past two years many of the humanoid robot designs have incorporated more and more autonomous operation. A good example is King Kizer with his autonomous opponent detection. In the heat of battle it's common for the operator to become so excited that they attack in the wrong direction. King Kizer automatically detects opponent positioning and attacks in the right direction every time.
Now we're starting to see totally autonomous designs come out of the workshops. At the recent Kondo Robot Battle competition we watched Black Tiger Neo autonomously hold its own against some tough opponents (see video below).
The original Black Tiger, created by Iketomu, started off life as a Kondo KHR-1, and has evolved over the years into the current Black Tiger Neo configuration. While some of the servos and frames have been changed, the robot is still primarily Kondo based, and uses the RCB-3 controller board. To compensate for the RCB-3's limited sensor input capability, Iketomu added the Kyosho multiple sensor input board that supports up to 32 sensor channels.
The video clip below was taken during the Kondo Robot Battle competition Rumble event. After placing the robot in the ring, and turning it on, Iketomu stepped back to the sidelines, and crossed his arms pensively to watch. Black Tiger Neo was totally on its own.
Kondo has several autonomous events planned for the 4th KHR Anniversary competition next month including Autonomous Robot Battle and Autonomous Beach Flag.