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.
’Wipeout Quantum Levitation Hoax Revealed (Video)’ continues
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.
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.
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
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
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.