Last month's RoboGames competition drew strong interest across the globe. The popular UK New Scientist publication featured some of the top humanoid robots slugging it out during the RoboGames 2011 Kung-Fu competition final matches.
Here are a couple of other videos showing the Mech Warfare Hardcore robot action at RoboGames 2011:
By the way, Hikari - the robot on the left wearing the skirt was created by Che Edoga, an avid robot fan and educator who has been competing at RoboGames for the past couple years with humanoids and artbots. This was his first attempt at full-on Mech Warfare. We're sure he'll be back next year with a new, improve version of Hikari.
Mech Warfare, like ComBots, is an exception. In the "hard core" Mech Warfare classification almost anything goes. Most humanoid builders are very cautious about joining the battle since their robots cost more than the typical personal computer.
But this year at least two of the competitors gave it a try.
While the top players in the Lightweight Humanoid Robot Kung-Fu competition turned out to be from the US, the top middle weight robots hailed from Asia.
The final Middle Weight Humanoid Robot Kung-Fu match was Zaura, from Japan, versus RND_Wimbleton, from Korea.
You can recognize RND_Wimbleton by the red markings. Zaura resembles a mechanical robot dinosaur in many respects - and even growls ferociously, kind of like a modern day Godzilla. You may have watched Zaura in action last year when he appeared with Samantha Brown on the Travel Channel.
The humanoid robot performance level at RoboGames has gotten better and better, year by year as the robot builders have gained experience in battle. This year at RoboGames 2011, they reached a totally new high performance level.
In the Lightweight classification, under 2 kg. in total weight, Krunk faced off against Shadow Blade for first place and the Gold Medal.
Humanoid robots aren't cheap. The lowest price kit runs at least $700, and builders typically pay from $1,200 just to get started in the biped robot game. So, when they compete at an event like RoboGames, they tend to be a little cautious about breaking servos or brackets, at least until the official part of the competition is over.
But, once they can relax and not have to worry about missing their turn in the ring due to a broken part, they throw caution to the wind. All the robots, both lightweight and middleweight, get into the ring together. When they referee shouts "Start!", the robot rumble is on.
The game is extremely simple. Knock your opponents out of the ring and avoid the same thing happening to yourself. The Last Robot Standing wins.