Robot Japan 5 – Photo Set

130106 Robot Japan 5-25 by Robots-Dreams
130106 Robot Japan 5-25, a photo by Robots-Dreams on Flickr.

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.

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ROBO-ONE Light 6 and ROBO-ONE 22 Competition Schedules Announced

ROBO ONE OFFCIAL SITE

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.

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Dr. Guero’s Amazing Tightrope Walking Robot (Video)

Tightrope Walking Robot

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.

tightrope robot

Here's Dr. Guero's bicycling robot, for those that haven't already enjoyed it:

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King Kizer Can Knock Your Block Off – Literally (Video)

king kizer

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

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ROBO-ONE 21 Humanoid Robot Competition Rules Released

robo-one rules

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)

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ROBO-ONE Light 4 Humanoid Robot Competition – Pit Area

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.

Via: ROBO-ONE Light 4 - Pit Area

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King Kizer: ROBO-ONE Champion Robot headed for RoboGames (Video)

king kizer robot

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.

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