It started off with one robot builder, Atamo, who was addicted to both the humanoid robot competitions and Japanese pro wrestling. In the beginning, he designed his robot to look like a pro wrestler, and to grab more of the competition judges, and audience, attention he dressed up in a matching wrestler costume. Needless to say, it was a huge hit and generated tremendous enthusiasm, even if though he didn't win the championship.
Other builders wanted to play too, and impromptu matches started to take place every time they could manage to get together. It wasn't long before Atamo attracted the attention of enough builders to start staging regular Dekinnoka! events. The first competition was a little ad hoc, just a bunch of enthusiastic energetic robots builders having a lot of fun. But, as the saying goes, enthusiasm is contagious. The Dekinnoka movement quickly caught fire. The number of participants, professionalism, production quality, and energy has increased to the point that Dekinnoka is becoming a strong rival for other robot competitions like ROBO-ONE.
Yesterday, Dekinnoka 6! Robot Pro-Wrestling was staged at the Kondo RoboSpot facility in Akihabara. This particular competition, part of the robot pro-wrestling world tryout initiative, was limited to humanoid robots utilizing Kondo servos and components. Normally, the competitions are open to robots based on any manufacturers hardware.
The event was broadcast real-time using Ustream, and has been archived so that you can go back and watch the whole event. But for readers that don't have the hours to spend, here is the promotional video, followed by the video stream of matches #4 and #5:
Dekinnoka 6! Match 4 & 5
I really like the way that they inserted short videos introducing the background and interests of each of the competitors it gives a feel for what they do in their daily work life, why they're interested in robotics, how long they've been involved, why they're so excited about robot pro-wrestling, and a lot of other interesting background. And, of course, it's a great opportunity for competitors to promote their company is or their own personal products and services to the audience including the other builders.
The 7th Dekinnoka! robot pro-wrestling competition is scheduled for November 3, which is a Japanese holiday, in Saitama, just north of Tokyo.
What's next? We got to believe that the Dekinnoka robot pro-wrestling movement is going global! This is exactly the type of event that would have tremendous public and media appeal to audiences all over the world. It would take some organization, and some sponsorship, but Dekinnoka would be a killer event for RoboGames.