We weren't exactly sure how a robot steeplechase or obstacle course done purely for the fun of it would turn out, but yesterday's Kondo Land competition was a total blast. There were 10 entries, not bad for the first time the event was staged, and they all did quite well at navigating the hazards, even though none of them managed to completely finish the total course within the short three minute time limit.
Here's “Isoko Rescue” turning in the best performance of the day:
The course included some really tough hazards including the initial tilting platform; a Magic Wall with moving blocks; the Motor House where the operator couldn't see the robot directly; a Wobbly Bridge that immediately tilted when a robot made any unbalanced move at all; steeply sloped ramps; and the Reverse Street treadmill that managed to defeat even the best contestants.
Kondo plans to make this competition a regular addition to the line-up of robot competitions sponsored by the company. The next Kondo Land is planned for sometime in March with the exact date to be announced later.
ROBOtic'10 is coming up on Saturday, November 27th at Millennium Point in Birmingham (UK). The exciting event, organized by the Birmingham City University Technology Innovation Center, has been going strong for six years running and features robot competitions including Maze Solver, Wall Follower, Time Trials, Mini-Sumo, Line Follower, Drag Race, and Freestyle. It's open to the public, admission is free, and there is no fee for entering your robot – just show up on the day.
In the meantime, we're headed out to the 31st All Japan Micromouse Robot Competition this weekend where we expect to see some new micromouse world records set, or at least have a whole lot of fun trying.
Leading international robot teams vie for first place.
What: VEX Robot Competition
When: Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Where: American School in Japan campus
Why: VEX is one of the most popular, and most well known robot competitions among high schools and educators. This is a rare chance to experience the action up close and personal. The event is open to the public and admission is free.
Comments: I plan on attending all day, from early morning until they bring down the curtain.
It's great that they are going to the extra effort to do this, and the professionalism of the editing is great. This will help a lot in promoting the sport, and interest in hobby humanoid robotics, a lot. Good work!
It started off with one robot builder, Atamo, who was addicted to both the humanoid robot competitions and Japanese pro wrestling. In the beginning, he designed his robot to look like a pro wrestler, and to grab more of the competition judges, and audience, attention he dressed up in a matching wrestler costume. Needless to say, it was a huge hit and generated tremendous enthusiasm, even if though he didn't win the championship.
Other builders wanted to play too, and impromptu matches started to take place every time they could manage to get together. It wasn't long before Atamo attracted the attention of enough builders to start staging regular Dekinnoka! events. The first competition was a little ad hoc, just a bunch of enthusiastic energetic robots builders having a lot of fun. But, as the saying goes, enthusiasm is contagious. The Dekinnoka movement quickly caught fire. The number of participants, professionalism, production quality, and energy has increased to the point that Dekinnoka is becoming a strong rival for other robot competitions like ROBO-ONE.
Yesterday, Dekinnoka 6! Robot Pro-Wrestling was staged at the Kondo RoboSpot facility in Akihabara. This particular competition, part of the robot pro-wrestling world tryout initiative, was limited to humanoid robots utilizing Kondo servos and components. Normally, the competitions are open to robots based on any manufacturers hardware.
The event was broadcast real-time using Ustream, and has been archived so that you can go back and watch the whole event. But for readers that don't have the hours to spend, here is the promotional video, followed by the video stream of matches #4 and #5:
Dekinnoka 6! Match 4 & 5
I really like the way that they inserted short videos introducing the background and interests of each of the competitors it gives a feel for what they do in their daily work life, why they're interested in robotics, how long they've been involved, why they're so excited about robot pro-wrestling, and a lot of other interesting background. And, of course, it's a great opportunity for competitors to promote their company is or their own personal products and services to the audience including the other builders.
The 7th Dekinnoka! robot pro-wrestling competition is scheduled for November 3, which is a Japanese holiday, in Saitama, just north of Tokyo.
What's next? We got to believe that the Dekinnoka robot pro-wrestling movement is going global! This is exactly the type of event that would have tremendous public and media appeal to audiences all over the world. It would take some organization, and some sponsorship, but Dekinnoka would be a killer event for RoboGames.
Techno-Road made a DEMO version of their Go Simulation for humanoid robots available. The software is in Japanese, and the demonstration version only includes access to the Battle and Dash robot games. Nevertheless, it's interesting to play with, and is a good way to see if your system is compatible with the software before you upgrade to the full version.
Here's a look at the Go Simulation product: