Derekchall (Youtube) from the UK was kind enough to share some videos from the recent APEC 2012 Micromouse Robot competition held in Florida.
’APEC 2012 Micromouse Robot Fast Runs (Video)’ continues
Micromouse has to be the longest running, and perhaps least well known, robot competition. Micromouse robot builders tend to be almost obsessive about their chosen sport, often flying half way around the globe to test their designs against the best the world has to offer. It's not about the glory - very few papers and even fewer television networks ever mention the sport. It's not about the prize money - there isn't any. And, it's not about beating your competitors. Unlike other sports, Micromouse is all about beating yourself - improving your own personal performance. Like long distance running, it can be an extremely lonely sport requiring endless hours fine tuning arcane software algorithms, shaving fractions of a second off times, and developing new drive systems.
Several times a year the top Micromouse builders gather to compare notes, explain and share their research, and to see who can clock the fastest times. The next international event is MINOS 2012, scheduled for April 14-15th at Royal Holloway, University of London. MINOS always draws the leading Western micro mouse gurus including Peter Harrison - who has competed in competitions as far afield as Japan and Taiwan, David Otten - one of the leaders of the micromouse initiatives since it's inception, and others.
With humanoid robots already well on their way to challenge humans on the soccer field it was only a matter of time before they strapped on skates and took to the ice.
Naturally enough, the first group to make a serious attempt at humanoid robot ice hockey was the Autonomous Agents Laboratory at the University of Manitoba, which in addition to their robotics expertise also has been blessed by nature with an overabundance of winter weather perfect for the sport.
'In a world where robots and humans struggle together in the fight against boredom... Only one event ends up with the robots dancing "The Human" while the meat puppets (you) end up singing the praises of RoboBartenders.'
BarBot 2012, the 5th annual festival of Cocktail Robotics, is coming up the evenings of March 2nd & 3rd at the pariSoma Innovation Loft in San Francisco. Doors open to the public at 8:00 pm. Advance tickets are $10 you can pay $15 at the door.
Needless to say, carbon-based humanoid attendees have to be 21 or over with photo ID. Robots and androids won't be carded.
Via: BarBot 2012
When it comes to robots, most of people's attention automatically focuses on the work being done in the US and Japan, but there is tremendous excitement, energy, and activity taking place around the world in countries that don't usually make it into the limelight.
A great example is Spain where major robot events like AESSBot feature the latest robotic technology, top level competitors, and draw huge crowds. AESSBot'11 was the 14th staging of Spain's premiere robot event and thanks to Mundo Friki you can get a taste for why it's become so popular.
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.