One thing I really enjoy about robot competitions like RoboGames and Mech Warfare is the friendliness and openness of the participants. Even when they are trying their best to defeat, and potentially demolish, each other's robots, they still manage to keep it polite and friendly.
Take for example, the Shibata - Che Edoga Mech Warfare Hardcore rivalry...
Naoki Maru and his son have transformed their life-sized King Kizer humanoid robot into a real life version of the battling robots from Real Steel.
Gakken, a leading Japanese publisher of science related magazines and low cost kits just released Volume 33 in the popular Otona No Kagaku series. I was surprised, and very pleased to find Kazuki Sumi's humanoid robot creation, Doka Harumi with a feature article in the magazine.
Like most of the Gakken publications, Volume 33 centers around a simple kit, this time it's a miniature version of the Roomba robot that includes enough functionality to effectively mimic it's real life counterpart. The design is rather unique in that it can accomplish all of that with just minimal electronics and only one drive motor - but more on that in another post.
In addition to the robot kit, Gakken always includes a beautifully executed full color magazine chock full of articles to interest and inspire readers. Doka Harumi, a top competitor in the ROBO-ONE Humanoid Helper Robot Project competitions, was an excellent choice.
The Robot Yuenchi group organizes robot events and competitions including the popular Robot Athlete Cup series that started almost five years ago. While the primary robot type featured in their events are humanoids like the Kyosho MANOI and Kondo KHR series, they also promote other types of robots including competitions that have multi-legged bots playing Beach Flag - a variation of the Capture the Flag game we played as kids.
In order to stimulate even more interest in robotics, and with the 10th anniversary ROBO-ONE 20 competition coming up this March, Robot Yuenchi announced a new high performance humanoid robot kit that will go on sale in February.
The ROBO-ONE organizing committee officially announced the dates for the 20th ROBO-ONE Humanoid Robot Competition. The event, which marks the 10 year anniversary of the popular movement, will be held at the Kawasaki City Industrial Promotion Hall on March 24th and 25th, 2012.
While the exact time schedule hasn't been released for each day yet, we do know that the 24th (Saturday) will feature the 9 meter qualifying speed trials, and the primary attraction on the 25th (Sunday) will be the traditional ROBO-ONE humanoid robot battles for the championship.
I'll post more information about the event as it becomes available.
The exact implications aren't clear yet, but today the management of the popular ROBO-ONE humanoid robot movement officially announced a structural reorganization.
According to the new organization chart posted on the ROBO-ONE website, the movement's major events, including the twice annual ROBO-ONE competitions, technical conferences, Humanoid Helper Project, and others, will be organized under Tokyo International Television. This appears, from the chart, to include all the ROBO-ONE Entertainment activities.
Event management and the related technologies/hardware/software will be organized under Best Technologies. No specific mention was made of some events, like the ROBO-ONE Gran Prix series.
The management reorganization may be laying the groundwork for the next phase of ROBO-ONE. The next major competition, ROBO-ONE 20, will mark the 10 year anniversary and will be the perfect occasion to revitalize and re-energize the ground breaking movement. No date has been announced for ROBO-ONE 20, though if it follows the traditional ROBO-ONE pattern the competition will take place sometime in late March or early April.