It's a well known fact: robots love to wrestle. I mean, why else would there be so many robot fighting competitions? The 17th Robo-One competition just finished in Kawasaki City, crowning a new champion in the world of amateur robotics. Super Dygar II beat out Neutrino (and 36 other bots) with its precision punching and quick steps. A huge tip of the hat goes to Biped Robot New Japan, aka IKETOMU, who has remarkable coverage of the two day competition. Check out their YouTube channel to see dozens of videos, covering all the important match ups. We've got three of them for you below, including the two championship bouts. These little biped robots are fast!
March 20th saw the opening of the Robo-One Light competition, a sort of precursor to the main event the next day. 62 robots competed in Robo-One Light where every bot had to either come from a pre-approved retail kit, or weigh in at less than 1kg. The winner of the fierce light-weight brawl was Fruit. The top three bots from Robo-One Light went on to compete in the main Robo-One competition. There, 38 total bots fought for supremacy, where the weight limit was a more generous 3kg. Below we have the Robo-One Light final battle between Fruit and Banboo, followed by the ultimate showdown of Robo-One: Super Dygar II vs. Neutrino. Make sure to watch Neutrino's ill-advised taunting move at 1:00. Bad call, 'trino, there goes the ¥ 1 million prize (~$11k).
Of course, Robo-One is a place to be seen as well as to be victorious. The Gundam-inspired MK-09 robot drew a lot of looks even if it didn't make it past the first round of competition at Robo-One Light.
I'm continually impressed by the vitality of the amateur robot wrestling community. There are more competitions every year, and more competitors. The ¥ 1 million prize is an impressive purse for such an event, though considering the costs of most of these robots, it probably only just covers the owner's expenses. It's cool to see that Neutrino was the work of Hida-Kamioka High School, the first student group to make it to second place. I wonder if increased prizes, and prestige, will draw more high schools into these robot competitions. It's a great way to get would-be engineers interested in robotics, and give them some basic experience in their creation. After all, as entertaining as these robot fights may be the real benefit is the growing support and interest in robotics.
[image and video credits: Biped Robot News Japan/Iketomu]
[sources: Biped Robot News Japan, Robo-One Competition (Google Translated)]