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.
I'm happy to announce that King Kizer, the awesome ROBO-ONE Champion robot created by Nao Maru, has signed up as part of the Robot Japan team for their 2012 U.S. Tour with an exclusive engagement at RoboGames, April 20th-22nd in San Mateo, California.
King Kizer took humanoid robot competition to a totally new level and inspired Japanese robot builders to ramp up their humanoid bots while accomplishing feats of speed, agility, and flexibility that was thought by experts to be impossible just a few years ago. As impressive as it seems, the video below can't begin to communicate how compellingly powerful, fast, and responsive King Kizer is in the ring.