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)
The 8th Kondo KHR Robot Anniversary event will take place in Tokyo on August 4th (Saturday) and 5th (Sunday). Competitions will include Kondo Battle KHR Class which follows the standard ROBO-ONE competition rules, and KondoCup Robot Soccer.
Since this event celebrates the anniversary of the popular Kondo KHR humanoid robot series, it will feature the KHR classifications for all competitions.
The event will be open to the public, and admission is free. The venue is the 3331 ARTS CYD facility at 11-14 6-chome, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo Sotokanda, in the Akihabara district just a few minutes walk from the Kondo RoboSpot location.
Via: Kondo-robot.com news
Robothon, the annual robotics competition and exhibition staged by the Seattle Robotics Society, has a FaceBook page you're going to want to "like".
Robothon 2012 is scheduled for Saturday, June 2nd at the Armory Center House in Seattle. A full day of exciting events are scheduled starting at 10 am. Attendance, and participation, is totally free.
The competitions include Robo-Magellan, Line Following, Line Maze, and Mini Sumo, with great prizes for the winning robots in each competition.
In reading through the new Introduction to Micromouse Robots for Embedded Developers article on MONOist, authored by The March Hare, I was struck by the fact that participation in the annual All Japan Micromouse Competition has increased consistently over the past two decades, to the point that there were 3 times as many competitors for the 2011 event compared to when the same event took place in 1991.
The participation chart, based in part on 2009 RoboCon magazine article data, illustrates the trend quite clearly, with the post 1990 trends plotted with Expert Class in blue, Freshman Class in red, and the total in yellow. The Half Size micromouse classification started in 2009 and is shown in light green. Keep in mind that the chart numbers only represent participants in the All Japan competition. There are quite a few regional competitions held throughout Japan from the summer through late fall leading up to the All Japan event, and only the top developers make it all the way to the national competition.
While interest in engineering and design careers waned in many First World countries over the same time period, and was severely depressed during tough economic times, it appears that the Japanese not only remained dedicated to the initiative, they actually increased in number quite dramatically.
I'm not sure what conclusions can be drawn from this trend, especially since micromouse development represents a very unique sector of robotics where participants are highly motivated to compete against themselves - to beat their own best times and improve their skills and know-how - rather than attempting to defeat each other.
Nevertheless, it's a stark contrast to what took place in robotics in other countries, like the U.S., during the same period of time.
Via: ＠IT MONOist
Insanity Wolf and Zot gave a glimpse of the future of robot battle at RoboGames 2012.
Zot is one of the powerful, agile humanoid robots developed by Farrell Robotics that took home medals at the world's largest open robot competition held in San Mateo, California last month.
Insanity Wolf, a dual airsoft gun equipped quadroped robot operated remotely using a head mounted wireless camera, was designed by Andrew Alter, the primary driving force behind Mech Warfare.
Edit [5/9/2012]: Corrected Zot's name.
Mech Warfare has turned into a major robot sport with more than enough participants, energy, and excitement to earn a spot in competitive robotics history.