What: Dekinnoka! 7 - Humanoid Robot Pro-Wrestling When: Wednesday, November 3, 2010 Where: Soka, Saitama-ken URL: http://www.atamo-robot.com/dekinnnoka/scdl.html Why: The top Japanese humanoid robot hobbyists are out to completely change biped robot entertainment, and are having an absolute ball doing it. Their robots not only mimic top professional wrestlers, they often out do them - and many of the builders dress up in cosplay costumes to get totally into the wrestling scene. Admission: Free - open to the public Comments: I'll be there, cheering for my favorite robot wrestlers.
Don't take my word for it - take theirs:
It's definitely the "Best Martial Arts Screw Tournament On Earth".
With the clock ticking, and less than 72 hours left before they have to get on their plane to Korea, Andrew and Matt decided to tear down one of their humanoids, change their strategy, build a new lightweight design, and create all the motions.
It might seem a little bit crazy, especially to those of us who are used to spending a week or more just creating a simple walking sequence, but for this gang of mad roboticists at Trossen Robotics, it's all par for the course. Once they hit the ground in Korea they'll be facing what has to be some of the toughest humanoid robot competitors in the world. And, it appears that this time they are likely to be the only team representing the skill, power, and winning spirit that the US is known for worldwide.
They even managed to take a few minutes out of their extremely hectic schedule and created this behind-the-scenes video to let all of their fans get a glimpse of what it's all about:
The time pressure in Chicago must be unbelievable right now for Andrew and the Trossen Robotics team. Not only are they actively participating in the robot portion of the iHobby show taking place this weekend, they are they're one of the key supporters and competitors in the Chibots competition, and -- get this -- in less than 30 hours they have to pack everything up, get on a plane, travel to the other side of the world, deal with the jet lag, set up their robots, and be ready to go head to head against the best Korean humanoid robot builders the world has ever seen.
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We've always been interested and intrigued by the potential of hexapod robots, but didn't feel the “Oh Wow! I've really got to have one of these”… until now.
Andrew Alter at Trossen Robotics is working on a new hexapod design, the PhantomX, that uses Robotis AX-18F Dynamixel servos and the Vanadium Labs ArbotiX Robocontroller. This little puppy is lightning fast, and surprisingly sleek. With this level of speed, manuverability, and flexibility, we can easily imagine a new RoboGamesXXtreme Obstacle Course competition.
The new kit release schedule isn't available yet, but according to Andrew it will be “… in the very near future.” We can hardly wait.
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.
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.
Way, way back in the days when we had the time to work on cars ourselves, we were always looking for techniques to save money doing the repairs necessary just to keep our stable of clunkers running.
One hack that we clearly remember was fashioning an oil filter out of a roll of toilet paper. It worked, kind of, but we can't really recommend trying it, especially in this day and age. So, when we saw the latest Purolator “Metal Wars” commercials that pit RoboGames/Combots style battling robots against the forces of cardboard and toilet paper used by some of Purolator's competitors, it had us rolling with laughter.
Of course, some skeptics might say that these match-ups are “no contest”, and, they would be right. That's exactly the point that Purolator is trying to make with the commercials. Cardboard and toilet paper has no place in your engine.
Even though they had no direction communication, and didn't even know the other group existed, avid robot builders in Japan and the US have started playing some serious, and very similar, robot combat games. Looks like it will all come to a head with face to face shoot-outs at RoboGames 2011.
Robots are an instant attention getter, and in a country like Taiwan where a huge percentage of the population is instantly turned on at the sight of a humanoid robot, they're a natural star for television commercials.
Duroyal ice cream is running a special summer promotion with winning sticks in a few their ice cream treats that entitle the lucky purchaser to a brand new Robotis Bioloid Premium humanoid robot kit. It's almost enough to get us on the next plane over there.
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