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.
I spent a great afternoon down in Kanagawa learning all about the DARwin-OP humanoid robot from Sugiura-san and Shibata-san. Sugiura, one of the top independent design engineers responsible for leading-edge wind turbine equipment, is most well known to robot fans as the creator of the Dynamizer series of ROBO-ONE championship robots.
Shibata, who recently joined the Sugiura Machine Design Office, is a ROBO-ONE humanoid robot designer in his own right as well as having managed the design of several Kondo KHR-series robot kits. Earlier this year he expanded his activities internationally by winning top honors at RoboGames 2011.
I'll post the details of our afternoon discussion, including a lot of their insights and experience with DARwin-OP, in the next day or two. In the meantime, here are some of the photos we took:
My personal fascination with electronics and technology started at a very early age when Santa brought a simple electronics experimenter kit one Christmas Eve. All the components were laid out on a board and each one had small wire springs for terminal contacts. The instruction book included diagrams showing how to hook up the wires to complete each circuit.
I can't remember all of the experiments exactly, but I do know there was a switch triggered burglar alarm, some light circuits, and a crystal radio, among others. The 'radio' used a rough crystal with a cat's whisker probe with no application. Luckily we were living in Southern California at the time with at least one 50,000 watt broadcast radio station that I could pick up.
I was very intrigued, and pleased, to discover Andrew Alter, a leading humanoid robot designer, Mech Warfare organizer, and RoboGames champion, explaining the Electronic Brick Starter Kit, since it shows that the same basic approach is still very much in use today.
’Old Electronics Kit Concept Made New (Video)’ continues
The Robotics Society of America has an active entry in the PepsiRefreshProject that needs your votes! The Pepsi project gives away millions (US Dollars) to worthy causes funding great ideas to "refresh the world." That might sound a little corny, but their heart is in the right place, and the causes are certainly worthy of your support.
The Robotics Society project is designed to teach middle school girls, and boys, about robotics with hands-on experience. Assuming that the project is one of the successful winners that get funded, it will culminate next April with the participating students having the time of their lives by actively competing at RoboGames 2012 in San Mateo, California.
So, what do you need to do....?
’Robot Society of America Needs Your Vote!’ continues
RoboGames champion Nick Donaldson seems to live, eat, sleep, and breathe robots. He consistently wins a raft of medals across a wide range of different categories during the annual robot gathering, and has designed all types of robots including LEGOs, multi-legged rescue bots, and even a few that might be difficult to categorize. Now, thanks to almost 10 years of hard work, dedication, and a little luck, it looks like one of Donaldson's cutest robot creations, a robot monkey, just might become the hottest selling robot toy in the US this Christmas.
When human athletes try to change their bodies, muscles, or in rare cases, gender, there is a huge uproar. The officials, mass media, and quite often, the public frequently call for more stringent testing, both for chemical substances, and sometimes DNA tests. But, little things like that couldn't begin to worry Dr. GIY.
Dr. GIY has taken on all comers in the ROBO-ONE ring, has won top medals at RoboGames in San Francisco, and has become a robotics legend worldwide. He never lets anything distract him from his primary purpose. So, when the Lotte Fit's organization announced a major dance competition, Dr. GIY instantly knew that one of his robots could do the job and win the top prize. So, that's exactly what he set out to do.