Get Ready for RoboGames 2011! (Video)

RoboGames 2011 kicks off on Friday, April 15th in San Mateo, California. Yikes! That's only about 6-7 weeks away! Time to get your robots ready, and to register online!

Head on over to the RoboGames website now!

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Rocky Goes Robotic: Real Steel Release Set for October 7, 2011 (Video)

Based on short science fiction story by Richard Matheson that originally appeared as an episode of the original Twilight Zone television series, Real Steel has been reborn as a full length feature film that will also screen in IMAX staring Hugh Jackman. Did we mention 2,000 pound, 8 foot tall boxing robots…?

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Robot Japan 2011 – Dance Contest (Video)

One of the most surprising and delightful aspects of hobby level robotics in Japan is the wealth of different competitions and styles. On any given weekend you can find humanoid robots battling it out in the ring, micromouse robots solving and racing through mazes, line followers blazing around the track, underwater robots plunging to new depths, and flying robots soaring skyward autonomously.

Last weekend was no exception. We spend a delightful afternoon with the gang at Robot Japan enjoying humanoid robot fights, including some that were orchestrated as well as professional wrestling matches, and a robot dance contest:

Oddly enough, the competition was held in an auditorium that is a part of the Tsukiji Hongan-ji Buddhist temple in Tokyo. The temple traces its history back to 1657 and is a major pilgrimage destination. After last Sunday's competition, it may become a favorite pilgrimage destination for the robot faithful as well.

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ROBO-ONE Lightweight Division Final: Hammerhead vs. Lucanus

In conjunction with the ROBO-ONE Humanoid Helper Project (more on that later) held this weekend, the organizers staged a Lightweight Division humanoid robot battle competition. The intent was to show of a different aspect of robot design, especially the speed, power, and pure fun generated by involvement with robotics. And, since the event took place at a major new home promotion center in Yokohama, they wanted to expose a wider group of potential players, especially young families, their parents, and children.

The robot battles were definitely first-class, among the best fights that we've seen in the Lightweight Division. Here's the final match between Hammerhead and Lucanus:

Hammerhead seems perfectly designed for battle in the ring. The center of gravity has been deliberately kept low; the stance is wide with extremely strong and stable legs; the robot has a long reach and is equipped with grippers to grab and topple its opponents; and every unnecessary component, including the traditional useless in battle servo head, has been completely eliminated. It's really a sweet design.

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1st Kondo Land Robot Competition: YASHIGANI

“YASHIGANI”, which means Coconut Crab in Japanese, did quite well during the Kondo Land Robot Competition this Thursday.

You can't tell from the video, but the bed of styrofoam peanuts covers a rotating turntable that makes it extremely difficult for robots to get any traction and escape the hazard.

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1st Kondo Land Robot Competition: Stallone

We're not exactly sure if “Stallone” is named after Rocky or not. Nevertheless, the robot managed an excellent performance at the 1st Kondo Land Robot Competition yesterday:

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