Wipeout Quantum Levitation Hoax Revealed (Video)

wipeout quantum hoax

It turns out, as suspected, that the awesome "Controlled Quantum Levitation on a Wipeout Track" demonstration was a very elaborate hoax perpetrated at the NAD Centre in Montreal Quebec. The video grabbed over 2.7 million views and was featured on numerous websites. Many people thought, myself included, that the whole production was purely a marketing ploy by Sony to promote the latest version of Wipeout. But that doesn't appear to be the case.

Take a look at the Reveal video below to see how they did it.

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Robot Competition Spawns Unique New Designs (Video)

120118 TicTac 6 Robot 1

Iketomu-san, who publishes the great Biped Robot News Japan blog, was able to participate in the 5th KondoLand Multi-Legged Robot Obstacle Race competition held January 8th in Akihabara. The unusual competition features hazards including a large seesaw, moving wall robots that attempt to block or push the competitor off the course, a conveyor belt running against the direction the competitor needs to go, and a swirling whirlpool of styrofoam packing peanuts.

The competition has been going for long enough that some of the builders have started to optimize their robot designs to deliver the best performance over the obstacle course. One that really stood out to me was Amino-san's new TicTac6 robot.

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Shibata Challenges Edoga To Mech Warfare Hardcore at RoboGames 2012 (Video)

rocket robots

Yoshihiro Shibata was totally amazed when he witnessed the Mech Warfare Hardcore competition staged during RoboGames 2011 in California. The idea that robot designers could battle with rocket equipped humanoids was something beyond his imagination.

He decided immediately that as soon as he arrived back in Japan work would start on a new robot specifically designed to literally blow the competition away. He set his sights on Che Edoga's rocket wielding female robot that took the gold medal (see video below).

Now, four months before RoboGames 2012 kicks off in April, he feels confident enough to lay down a serious challenge to Edoga.

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Mega Hobby Robot Event Coming Up

hobby robot event

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.

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RoboCup Standard Platform Complex Rulebook (Video)

robocup robot soccer

Several readers have asked about the NAO robot teams competing at RoboCup 2011, so we decided to try and put the situation in perspective, and take a look at the rulebook, which turned out to be much more complex than we had imagined.

The RoboCup Standard Platform category was originally designed to be exactly that - a "standard platform". The concept was to create a uniform playing environment where all the teams used the same robots, the same restrictions, and the same advantages. At the same time they would have a free hand to experiment and innovate with the software, AI, and algorithms in order to coax the best performance out of their robots and win the match.

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RoboGames 2011 – Humanoid Robot Rumble (Video)

via www.youtube.com

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. :)

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Living Color Robot Art (Video)

via www.youtube.com

Looking at all the creativity on display at RoboGames 2011, we were reminded once again of the intersection between art and technology, and what beauty can be created by fusing both in new and exciting ways.

One of our favorite "art bot" creations that doesn't happen to be on display at the event is Matthew Ricard's "Estrella Intersects the Plane". We met Matthew at the ITP Spring Show in New York last year.

His creation uses 40 servos, 80 RGB LEDs, hundreds of wires, plus considerable control electronics. Yet most of the "techie-stuff" is behind the scenes where it produces but doesn't interfere with the beauty of the experience.

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Metal Robots Vie For Gold Medals – RoboGames 2011

robogames combat robots

The 8th annual RoboGames attracts teams from around the world to compete in 60 different events - from dancing androids to fire-breathing combat robots and autonomous cars to soccer playing droids.

The San Francisco Bay Area has long been a rich playground where hard working cogs in the startup machine wrestle valiantly in their cubicles with the coding questions of the ages. 51 weeks out of the year, it's humdrum workday solving the world's technology problems.

And then there's week 52 -  RoboGames week...

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