The latest revision to the ROBO-ONE humanoid robot competition regulations is online, and surprisingly there is lots of red ink. The ROBO-ONE organising committee always highlights any changes from the previous version in red to make it easier for competitors to find the differences, and to avoid any disputes or confusion at the events.
For the most part, most of the changes in the revision for the 24th ROBO-ONE competition are fairly minor, but a few may cause some heartburn or controversy. Nevertheless, it’s surprising to see so many changes in the regulations for a competition that’s been held every six months for the past 11+ years.
Some of the changes that immediately caught my eye are:
1) Robot weight is limited to a maximum of 3 Kg or lighter. There are some heavier robots that actively compete, and they usually have a strong advantage, so this change will probably make the matches more equal and interesting. At the same time, it’s really a shame that the larger robots over 3 Kg will be deprived the chance to compete.
2) The length of the 9 meter pre-qualifying sprint course may be changed depending on the venue. Does this imply that they are considering moving the event to another location? Perhaps.
3) There is more definition about the center of gravity and angle of attack during matches. The clarification is probably good, but will be hard to understand clearly and for the referee to administer.
4) There’s an added section with regard to start/stop buttons on autonomous robots which seems to imply that they expect more autonomous competitors. In the past there has only been one or two autonomous entries that made it into the finals.
5) They seem to be very concerned about attacks from a squatting position, and also robots that deliberately throw themselves off balance to attack. They even characterize that strategy as a ‘desperation technique.'
Via: ROBO-ONE Regulations (PDF)
Nao Maru, the creator of the King Kizer series of ROBO-ONE champion humanoid robots, is taking the game to an entirely new level. As a part of Nippon Television “Real Robot Battle” competition, Maru put together King Kizer Z, a super sized humanoid robot that should be able to more than hold it’s own in the ring, and potentially take home the crown.
King Kizer Z stands just over 2 meters tall and tips the scales at 230 kg (506 lb.) which makes it a very formidable opponent, especially since Maru always plays to win.
Maru’s massive robot is equipped with pneumatic air cylinders in each arm and programming that enables it to throw a killer combination punch:
And, if that wasn’t enough, King Kizer Z has built-in canons capable of firing up to 12 shots per bout:
Via: MARU Family
The Robot Japan competitions get better and better each time. The 5th bi-annual event, held last Sunday in Tokyo, was the best competition yet from all aspects. The professionalism, showmanship, energy, and excitement was absolutely fantastic.
Here's my photo set of the afternoon. I'll be posting several videos of the action on the Robots Dreams YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/robotsdreams) also.
The ROBO-ONE organizing committee announced that the 6th ROBO-ONE Light competition will be held Saturday, February 23, 2013 at the Miraikan National Museum of Emerging Science in Tokyo.
The qualifying tests for the 22nd ROBO-ONE competition will be held the same day immediately following the ROBO-ONE Light event, with the full competition scheduled for Sunday, February 24th, 2013 at the same venue.
The events, which will be staged in the large 7th floor auditorium, are open to the public with free admission.
Remember Dr. Guero, the robot builder that stunned everyone last year with his bicycle riding Primer-V2 humanoid robot? He's back with another astonishing robot feat. This time his Primer-V4 robot is a full fledged tightrope walker!
Pretty darn amazing, especially considering that just a few short years ago many of the hobby level humanoid robot builders were lucky to keep their robots balanced and upright while walking for an extended period or boxing in the ROBO-ONE ring.
The tightrope used for this feat was a 4mm diameter cable suspended 1 meter above the floor. The technical challenges were significant and considerably different from normal humanoid robot walking. When a bipedal robot walks on the ground the standard approach is to apply gyro sensor feedback corrections primarily to the leg servos to shift the center of gravity. The arms don't play a significant role.
With tightrope walking the arms and upper body play a much more critical role in shifting the robots center of gravity to keep it balanced and avoid crashing to the floor. Dr. Guero's blog doesn't mention the use of any safety net, but I'm sure he had to catch the robot quite a few times before he got it working perfectly.
The robot's feet have a small slot for the tightrope, which is fair enough. A human tightrope walker in the circus would cup their feet and use their toes in the same fashion.
Here's Dr. Guero's bicycling robot, for those that haven't already enjoyed it:
I've commented in the past about how ROBO-ONE builders treat their robot creations as if they were children. There is no better example than the amazing acrobatic rescue that Morinaga-san executed this afternoon during the ROBO-ONE qualifying sprint practice session to save his Metallic Fighter humanoid robot from crashing on the floor.