I mentioned in a post a few days ago that Jay Jay Napalan, a member of the Aldebaran NAO Robot Developers Program had the chance (and the guts) to compete at RoboGames 2012 in several different categories.
Some of the categories he picked were natural choices for the NAO humanoid robot, especially those that required autonomous or AI capabilities. But one of the categories really surprised me.
Napalan entered J2 in the middle-weight humanoid kung fu category where it would potentially go head to head with bruisers like King Kizer, Wimbleton, and KiaNaut. NAO has a well deserved reputation for being more of a 'lover' than a 'fighter', and it would be a shame to see the robots ascetically beautiful white plastic body and face scratched and bruised by the punishment that a middle-weight champion can dish out.
I've been waiting for someone to post a video of J2's RoboGames 2012 matches since somehow I missed the opportunity to record it. But, since a match video hasn't appeared yet, the best I can offer is the J2 practice session video below.
Mech Warfare has turned into a major robot sport with more than enough participants, energy, and excitement to earn a spot in competitive robotics history.
Ever wonder what it must be like for the Combots robots when they smash, crash, and try to flame each other totally out of existence? Turn your volume all the way up, expand the video to Full Screen, sit back, and enjoy:
Left to right: 2nd Place - Team Japan 1; 1st Place - Team Korea; 3rd Place - Team Japan 2
Naoki Maru and Jay Jay Napalan
Maru is a key part of the Robot Japan team and the designer of ROBO-ONE champion humanoid robot King Kizer. Napaplan is a talented professional photographer, software developer, and an active member of the Aldebaran NAO Robot Developers Program.