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.
My all time favorite humanoid robot competition, the Wonderful Robot Carnival, is scheduled for this Sunday, July 15th, in the Takao area of Tokyo. Unfortunately I'm currently in New York and won't get back to Japan until late next week. However, the competition will be streamed real-time via the event's official UStream channel.
Via: わんだほー ろぼっと か～にばる
Nao Maru's ROBO-ONE champion robot, Great King Kizer, caused a real stir after it earned the Best of Show award at RoboGames 2012 last April. Ever since he brought home the Gold Medal, Maru has received endless questions about his design and competition strategies.
One of the most frequently asked questions, especially from the foreign press, was, "How hard can King Kizer actually punch?* Never one to duck a challenge, Maru decided to King Kizer's power is just as strong as human karate fighters several times his height and weight.
Via: King Kizer Videos
The rules for the next ROBO-ONE Humanoid Robot competition have been released. There are no substantial changes to the rules, though the latest revision includes a new provision prohibiting the use of 'hooks'.
In other words, builders can't design robot appendages that would deliberately hook behind their opponents or get entangled in opponents wiring cables. This does not rule out the use of grippers or techniques that involve grabbing or hugging opponents.
For most builders this doesn't represent much of a problem, though it may be a challenge to some aggressive competitors. I'm not sure how the new rule will apply to robots like King Kizer that have unique arm/hand designs.
The ROBO-ONE 21 competition is scheduled for September 1st/2nd, but the venue hasn't been announced yet.
Via: ROBO-ONE 21 Rules (pdf)
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.
The ROBO-ONE Light series of competitions was developed to encourage novice humanoid robot builders to participate in the ROBO-ONE initiative. In other words, the ROBO-ONE organizers wanted to attract "new blood" and revitalize the movement.
All of the robots have to be based on robot kits from a list of authorized manufacturers and models. However, many of the builders have heavily modified the hardware and software to give them a bigger competitive advantage in the ring.