It's been a long, hot, and extremely humid summer here in Japan. The weather, the economy, and the general mood has been depressed and languid to say the least. As I have mentioned before, a lot of the plans for regular robot competitions, like ROBO-ONE, had to be cancelled or postponed indefinitely after the triple disasters (earthquake, tsunami, & nuclear) that took place on March 11th.
All of that is about to change big time, and all the pent-up robot energy and enthusiasum is going to explode on the scene over the next few weeks in a frenzy of exciting competitions with a new mega robot battle double-header that promises to totally blow away all standing records.
’Mega Hobby Robot Event Coming Up’ continues
The Robotics Society of America has an active entry in the PepsiRefreshProject that needs your votes! The Pepsi project gives away millions (US Dollars) to worthy causes funding great ideas to "refresh the world." That might sound a little corny, but their heart is in the right place, and the causes are certainly worthy of your support.
The Robotics Society project is designed to teach middle school girls, and boys, about robotics with hands-on experience. Assuming that the project is one of the successful winners that get funded, it will culminate next April with the participating students having the time of their lives by actively competing at RoboGames 2012 in San Mateo, California.
So, what do you need to do....?
’Robot Society of America Needs Your Vote!’ continues
The ROBO-ONE video footage below may seem a little dated to fans that follow the game closely, but we really like it because it provides a glimpse behind the scenes and into the personal lives of some of the top competitors. The video segments are part of an upcoming documentary, "J, Robot" by Michael Garrigues that focuses on some of the key aspects of Japanese culture that have enabled them to lead the world in robot development and deployment.
It's not surprising to find Japanese companies featuring robots in commercials to pitch and promote their products. Gigantor (Tetsujin 28) is currently appearing in cellphone ads and commercials for NTT/DoCoMo. Gundam has done gigs for ANA airlines. And, even Atom (Astro Boy) has been known to earn a few yen doing the pitchman, or pitch-robot, routine.
But, the latest Gundam TV commercial is puzzling to say the least. And, the real mystery - what is the meaning of the punchline message at the end of the video? We're just as puzzled as we're sure you will be after you watch it. If you have any clue, please post a comment below and let us know.
Subscribers to ROBOT Magazine are receiving their copies of the latest issue right about now, and the store copies should be in bookstores very soon.
This particular issue, with the Kumotek KT-X humanoid robot on the cover, will prove to be quite interesting and exciting since it includes coverage of robots at the Maker Faire, animatronic dinosaurs, a how-to on programing servos, Arduino Bot Brains, a chance to win a Parallax robot, a look at the latest Kondo hexapod robot, and our detailed coverage of RoboGames 2011.
Get ready to rumble! The Science Channel will be airing the Killer Robots RoboGames 2011 special on Memorial Day.
Be sure to let us know how it turns out, since it won't be broadcast over here, at least not for a while.