Maru-san (King Kizer) rushing to catch the Shinkansen after the IREX 2011 ROBO-ONE event.
DARPA, the same folks that brought us, or at least funded, the development of the Internet and several autonomous robotic vehicles, has a new challenge. If you like puzzles, mental gymnastics, and extremely short deadlines, you're going to love this one.
It turns out that the US military frequently takes over the headquarters of hostile forces, but all too often all the critical paperwork containing precious clues and insights has been shredded before they can get their hands on it. That's where the DARPA challenge comes in. They're putting up a $50,000 prize for the team that can come up with the best solution for putting all the shredded information back together again.
Rather than just present one puzzle, which might be too difficult for any team to solve, DARPA has posted five puzzles with increasing levels of complexity. The puzzles are already up on the challenge website, and can be downloaded by anyone, even if they decide not to enter the competition.
To keep things even more interesting and exciting, they have a Leaderboard on the website that is updated regularly. The winning team will be announced on December 5, 2011.
(Via DARPA Shredder Challenge.)
Kondo Robot announced two new multi-legged robot kits expanding their already impressive line of high performance, and highly modifiable, robots. Famous for introducing the first hobby humanoid robot kit, the KHR-1, and the most popular platforms of choice for ROBO-ONE competitors, Kondo has recently branched out into multi-legged robots.
In addition to robot fans and hobbyists, Kondo kits have become extremely popular among technical high schools, colleges, other academic institutions, as well as research facilities here in Japan. Both of the two new robot kits are likely to attract a strong following, particularly since their price/performance is expected to be improved over existing products already on the market.
I had a fantastic time at the Robot Japan 2 event on Sunday and am just working through all the great photos and videos from the day. Check out the photo gallery below to get a feel for the event. I should have some videos up soon.
’Robot Japan 2 Competition Photo Gallery’ continues
I'm really looking forward to the mega Robot Colosseum event coming up in a few weeks in conjunction with the 50th Japan SF Convention in Shizuoka. It's going to be an absolute blast. One of the reasons that gets me so excited is that one of the main robot attractions will be the 8th Robot Pro-Wrestling Dekinnoka competition.
I'm sure you can easily imagine what it's like to have humanoid robots battling it out in the ring with all the energy, excitement, posing, and costumes that make real pro-wrestling such a blast. But, don't take my word for it, or depend on the limits of your own personal imagination. Check out the Dekinnoka promotional demonstrations and press conference videos below.
’Robot Pro-Wrestling Dekinnoka 8! (Video)’ continues
I didn't realize that Lockheed Martin, one of the world's largest aerospace, defense, security, and technology companies, has projects underway utilizing the Aldebaran NAO humanoid robot, but they must have because their latest corporate promotional video, titled "Visions of Tomorrow" features the easily recognizable, and extremely cute, robot from France.
According to the video caption:
"Visions of Tomorrow" reflects the Corporation's dedicated workforce, growing technology portfolio, and innovative spirit. The video is a tribute to those innovators and the sense of greater purpose they share.