I'm a man who enjoys a good robot battle. Sure that will probably get me sent to the arena myself as soon as the machines take over, but I can't help it. Robot fights are the new 'sweet science'. So I was excited to see the results from the latest robot wrestling matches in the offices of RT-Corp, Ltd in Tokyo on January 9th. Known as U1K, these matches feature only those robots weighing less than one kilogram. Which mechanical mauler won the latest bout? The same that dominated the earlier U1K in October: Igaa's custom built Soga. This little bruiser is amazing. Soga used some first class pushing, flipping, and even a suplex to take its opponents to the mat! Look below for the awesome video of the finals courtesy of Iketomu.
There's lots of funny moments from the finals, but make sure to check out 1:10, 4:08, 4:30 and 5:40 to see Soga kick some automaton ass.
The U1K isn't the only robot wrestling show. Far from it. There's the Robo-One Competition, the Robo-Games, and Kondo Battle. And those are just the big names. Still, Soga's probably the first robot I've seen dominate a tournament so completely. I'm not sure any of the other 13 robots in the competition even knocked it to the mat more than once.
Robot battles like this one are mostly for fun, but good design and good programming are important even in the small scale. It'll be interesting to see how these competitions evolve in the next five to ten years as processing power gets cheaper and robotics advance. Who knows, maybe the amateur designers working in the l kg scale today will be building the 1 ton behemoths of tomorrow. If that happens, my money's on Soga's big brother.
[screen capture and video credit: Iketomu (Biped Robot News Japan) via YouTube]