1st Kondo Land Robot Competition: Course Difficulty (Video)

I realized last night while talking with some fellow robot builders that the Kondo Land Robot Competition videos so far make the obstacle course look much easier than it actually was. The hazards the robots have to conquer are far from trivial, and the fact that several of them almost made it all the way to the end is a real tribute to the design, implementation, strategy, and piloting ability of their robot designers.

Here's a look at some of the course difficulty:

You need to keep in mind that unlike ROBO-ONE, Robot Sumo, or Micromouse, the Kondo Land competitors didn't have the benefit of past experience, and none of them that we are aware of had the luxury of designing their robot from the ground up specifically for this particular course. Many of the robots were just a little too big for some of the hazards, or their feet couldn't get sufficient traction.

Of course that will change quickly. Now that they have seen and experienced the course first hand, and watched how others fared, they will be back with a vengence. At the 2nd Kondo Land Robot Competition scheduled for late January, we expect to see several new designs fined tuned to successfully navigate this unique robot challenge. Who knows, we might even see a ROBO-ONE style humanoid or two attempt it… That would be very cool.

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22nd KondoCup Robot Soccer: KHR Class (Video)

Kondo has started UStreaming (kondo_khr) some of the robot competition events from RoboSpot. Here's the action from yesterday's KHR Class robot soccer matches:

It's great that they are going to the extra effort to do this, and the professionalism of the editing is great. This will help a lot in promoting the sport, and interest in hobby humanoid robotics, a lot. Good work!

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Dekinnoka 6! Robot Pro-Wrestling Rivals ROBO-ONE (Video)

It started off with one robot builder, Atamo, who was addicted to both the humanoid robot competitions and Japanese pro wrestling. In the beginning, he designed his robot to look like a pro wrestler, and to grab more of the competition judges, and audience, attention he dressed up in a matching wrestler costume. Needless to say, it was a huge hit and generated tremendous enthusiasm, even if though he didn't win the championship.

Other builders wanted to play too, and impromptu matches started to take place every time they could manage to get together. It wasn't long before Atamo attracted the attention of enough builders to start staging regular Dekinnoka! events. The first competition was a little ad hoc, just a bunch of enthusiastic energetic robots builders having a lot of fun. But, as the saying goes, enthusiasm is contagious. The Dekinnoka movement quickly caught fire. The number of participants, professionalism, production quality, and energy has increased to the point that Dekinnoka is becoming a strong rival for other robot competitions like ROBO-ONE.

Yesterday, Dekinnoka 6! Robot Pro-Wrestling was staged at the Kondo RoboSpot facility in Akihabara. This particular competition, part of the robot pro-wrestling world tryout initiative, was limited to humanoid robots utilizing Kondo servos and components. Normally, the competitions are open to robots based on any manufacturers hardware.

The event was broadcast real-time using Ustream, and has been archived so that you can go back and watch the whole event. But for readers that don't have the hours to spend, here is the promotional video, followed by the video stream of matches #4 and #5:

Dekinnoka 6! Match 4 & 5

I really like the way that they inserted short videos introducing the background and interests of each of the competitors it gives a feel for what they do in their daily work life, why they're interested in robotics, how long they've been involved, why they're so excited about robot pro-wrestling, and a lot of other interesting background. And, of course, it's a great opportunity for competitors to promote their company is or their own personal products and services to the audience including the other builders.

The 7th Dekinnoka! robot pro-wrestling competition is scheduled for November 3, which is a Japanese holiday, in Saitama, just north of Tokyo.

What's next? We got to believe that the Dekinnoka robot pro-wrestling movement is going global! This is exactly the type of event that would have tremendous public and media appeal to audiences all over the world. It would take some organization, and some sponsorship, but Dekinnoka would be a killer event for RoboGames.

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Horizontal bar robot gymnast in training (Video)

Robot gymnastics
Hinamitetu’s robot gymnast is getting better and better, but still needs a lot of work on its horizontal bar dismount before the Robot Olympics qualifying meets start in the Spring.

Horizontal bar robot gymnast in training (Video)’ continues

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Robots continue to take over human sports… (Video)

Robot bowling
We’ve seen, and enjoyed, humanoid robot boxing, kung fu, soccer, obstacle course, and even golf. What’s next?

A group of devoted robot builders in Japan has taken to having their humanoids go bowling, and surprisingly, they get a strike more often than you would guess.

Robots continue to take over human sports… (Video)’ continues

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