Gakken, a leading Japanese publisher of science related magazines and low cost kits just released Volume 33 in the popular Otona No Kagaku series. I was surprised, and very pleased to find Kazuki Sumi's humanoid robot creation, Doka Harumi with a feature article in the magazine.
Like most of the Gakken publications, Volume 33 centers around a simple kit, this time it's a miniature version of the Roomba robot that includes enough functionality to effectively mimic it's real life counterpart. The design is rather unique in that it can accomplish all of that with just minimal electronics and only one drive motor - but more on that in another post.
In addition to the robot kit, Gakken always includes a beautifully executed full color magazine chock full of articles to interest and inspire readers. Doka Harumi, a top competitor in the ROBO-ONE Humanoid Helper Robot Project competitions, was an excellent choice.
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.
I've created a playlist (below) with eight videos of the Robot Japan 3 event held January 8, 2012 here in Tokyo. The videos include the final matches and playoffs in both the Middle Weight and Bantam Weight humanoid robot fights, the robot dance performances, and some of the robot demonstrations.
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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.
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.
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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