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...
I didn't manage to get down to Yokohama last weekend for the 7th Annual Robot American Football competition, but luckily my friend Patric was able to go and shared the video below.
Jennifer, the DARwin-OP humanoid robot that's being taught to play ice hockey at the University of Manitoba is getting great press coverage, including the video segment above that ran on CBC News.
Adapting the robot to play a challenge like ice hockey is a significant challenge. Still, the way that the press portrays the robot as being "Canadian" is a bit misleading.
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.
Azusa Amino, the creator of Toku Toku Maru and one of the top ROBO-ONE humanoid designers since his college days, has a wonderful sense of humor and unbridled creativity. His talents extend far beyond robotics. It seems like he is constantly exploring new technology applications and building leading edge devices, like multi-prop autonomous helicopters.
Since the recent Robot Pro Wrestling Dekinnoka 10! event was held on Christmas Day, and he knew that there would be lots of robot loving children in the audience, he came up with a surprising, and surprisingly cute, fusion of robots, technology, and the spirit of the season.
’Toku Toku Maru Brings Joy for Christmas (Video)’ continues
Yoshihiro Shibata was totally amazed when he witnessed the Mech Warfare Hardcore competition staged during RoboGames 2011 in California. The idea that robot designers could battle with rocket equipped humanoids was something beyond his imagination.
He decided immediately that as soon as he arrived back in Japan work would start on a new robot specifically designed to literally blow the competition away. He set his sights on Che Edoga's rocket wielding female robot that took the gold medal (see video below).
Now, four months before RoboGames 2012 kicks off in April, he feels confident enough to lay down a serious challenge to Edoga.