ROBO-ONE was originally conceived as “Humanoid Robot Entertainment” with the unstated goal of stimulating a whole generation of Japanese, and international, developers to get involved in the humanoid robot movement. Everyone knew it would be impossible to replicate the performance of Honda’s ASIMO robot on a hobbyist budget, but it would be fun to see how far they could push the envelope in that direction.
In the beginning, when the number of competitors was less than two dozen, it was easy to keep everyone on the same page, and of course there was some unstated social group pressure to conform. But, with the top prizes worth several thousand dollars, and the glory of winning the world’s top humanoid robot competition, some of the builders got creative and pushed the limited rule set a bit.
Over time, with each new unique quasi-humanoid design that popped up, the organising committee would tweet the ROBO-ONE rules to make sure that the focus on humanoids was never abandoned.
Now, more than a decade later, the vast majority of ROBO-ONE competitors follow the basic design guidelines developed by the first competitors like Koichi Yoshimura, lead designer for the Kondo KHR-1 first humanoid robot kit.
However, there are always some robot builders that see an opportunity to stretch the rules a bit. Just because a robot has to look and act like a humanoid when it enters the ring, there’s no rule that says it has to keep that shape once the referee shouts “Fight!”
No doubt there will be another revision to the rulebook before the next competition six months from now. And, also without a doubt, there will be another robot designer that will have figured out a way to take advantage of the new rules.
Related links: ROBO-ONE Light-Unique Configuration Pushes The Rules - YouTube #robotsdreams
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