20th ROBO-ONE Humanoid Robot Competition Scheduled

120120 ROBO ONE Robot Competition 1

The ROBO-ONE organizing committee officially announced the dates for the 20th ROBO-ONE Humanoid Robot Competition. The event, which marks the 10 year anniversary of the popular movement, will be held at the Kawasaki City Industrial Promotion Hall on March 24th and 25th, 2012.

While the exact time schedule hasn't been released for each day yet, we do know that the 24th (Saturday) will feature the 9 meter qualifying speed trials, and the primary attraction on the 25th (Sunday) will be the traditional ROBO-ONE humanoid robot battles for the championship.

I'll post more information about the event as it becomes available.


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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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Robot Pro Wrestling Dekinnoka 10! – Nagare Gold vs. Thunderbolt (Video)

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It isn't an accident that Nagare Gold bears a distinct resemblance to Godzilla in robot form. In fact, it even roars like Godzilla. But Thunderbolt, the latest creation of ROBO-ONE humanoid robot designer Yoshihiro Shibata, doesn't get intimidated easily. And, he's got a few tricks up his sleeve - or, more accurately, mounted on the top of his head. I don't want to give away any spoilers, but you would be well advised to watch the video of their Robot Pro Wrestling match below very closely around the 5:50 mark.


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Robot Pro Wrestling Dekinnoka 10! Main Event

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As I mentioned before, Christmas Day for me here in Japan involved one of the most over-the-top robot events in the world, Robot Pro Wrestling Dekinnoka 10!

The competition is pure robot entertainment, a robotized version of professional wrestling that includes all of the fun, excitement, thrills, and laughs of its human counterpart. The major difference is that no blood is spilled and no brains are scrambled.

Luckily, I had a ringside seat for the Main Event, pitting MONSTER against SAAGA, and am able to share the video with you below.


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GALAXY XMAS HUGS Robot – Behind The Scenes (Video)

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I was invited to meet with the Nakagawa's at RT Corp in Akihabara last Friday to get an exclusive briefing covering the development of the Galaxy XMAS HUGS robot installation currently being featured at Roppongi Hills in Tokyo.

The Samsung Galaxy organization wanted to put together a unique exhibition at the Galaxy Cafe for the holiday season. Something that would utilize and feature the leading edge Galaxy technology coupled with a strong appeal that would connect with potential customers emotionally as well as logically.

The Nakagawa's were excited by the challenge and immediately saw the opportunity to combine several Galaxy products running the Android operating system with their RIC Android humanoid robot platform in a way that would create an engaging and memorable experience for everyone that tried it.


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Biped Set to Compete in the Tsukuba Real World Robot Challenge (Video)

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The Tsukuba Real World Robot Challenge, organized by the Japan New Technology Foundation, was designed to be a practical demonstration and emulation of the challenges that will be faced by robots operating alongside humans in the future. The competition requires that the robots autonomously navigate a predetermined course and deal with obstacles, including pedestrians and cyclists, without doing any damage to humans, other robots, objects along the way, or themselves.

For the first few years since the competition originated, all of the entries have been wheeled, but RT Corporation, headquartered in Akihabara and known world-wide as a leader in biped robot design, development and deployment, decided it was time for a humanoid robot to take up the challenge and show everyone what could be accomplished. It wasn't a coincidence that RT's robot of choice has a Google Android operating system brain.


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Kondo Robot Releasing New Multi-legged Robot Kits

kondo robot

Kondo Robot announced two new multi-legged robot kits expanding their already impressive line of high performance, and highly modifiable, robots. Famous for introducing the first hobby humanoid robot kit, the KHR-1, and the most popular platforms of choice for ROBO-ONE competitors, Kondo has recently branched out into multi-legged robots.

In addition to robot fans and hobbyists, Kondo kits have become extremely popular among technical high schools, colleges, other academic institutions, as well as research facilities here in Japan. Both of the two new robot kits are likely to attract a strong following, particularly since their price/performance is expected to be improved over existing products already on the market.



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