We recently had the opportunity to visit the All Japan Robot Sumo Tournament Office and meet with Takeshi Kanai (Secretary General), Masaru Ishikawa (Vice Secretary General - Chief Judges), and Akiko Tsuda (Public Relations Section). They were kind enough to share a lot of the Japanese Robot Sumo history, and gave us some surprising insights into what is actually involved.
The University of Northern Iowa just staged a really interesting mini-robot sumo competition between robots designed by 10 students in a 15–week Introduction to Robotics course. The competition video (see link below) includes a wealth of information on mini-robot sumo, design strategies and trade-offs, and the student experiences.
’Mini-Robot Sumo From Northern Iowa (Video link)’ continues
We had the opportunity to interview two of the top officials from the All Japan Robot Sumo organization a few weeks ago. They shared a lot of the history, background, and techniques that go into the robots and the competitions here in Japan. We’ll be posting a series of articles on Robot Sumo based on the interview soon. In the meantime, here’s a short video clip we put together from the February 10 kg. class competition in Yokohama:
We were lucky enough to be able to attend the 17th Japan Robot Sumo Competition for the 10 kg. class last weekend. Like real sumo, some of the matches were over in a fraction of a second with one massive, or skillful robot rapidly pushing its opponent out of the ring. And, just like real sumo, every once in a while there was a match packed full of tension, energy, excitement, and drama.
’Robot Sumo Drama (Video)’ continues
Last weekend must have been some sort of Japanese national robot holiday - at least that’s what it seemed like here. ASIMO was giving running demos at a major science museum in Tokyo, the LEGO FLL Mindstorms robot group held their national competition (more on that soon), and the 17th Japan National Robot Sumo - 10 kg. Class competition was staged in Yokohama.
’Robot Sumo – Japan Style (Video)’ continues
If you happen to be in the Yokohama area on Sunday afternoon (February 19th), drop by the Pacifico Yokohama convention center and catch some sumo robot action. This particular event, the 17th Japan Nationals for 10 kg (22 lbs) sumo robots, is sure to offer lots of heavy competition and excitement. The doors open at noon, and the contests are scheduled to finish up around 3:00 pm ? though they sometimes finish ahead of schedule. If you happen to notice a tall foreigner, with an obvious obsession with things robotic, taking photos please come up and say hello.