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article imageRobots fight against each other in wrestling competition

By Chris V. Thangham     Apr 2, 2008 in Technology
In the biannual Robo-One Championships, the robots slug it out in a wrestling competition where the machines are controlled by their owners. The winners in each division get cash prizes.
The contenders for this competition are diminutive robots built and controlled by participants worldwide. The Robo-One committee Chairman Terakazu Nishimura told Reuters about their competition: "Japanese children have all been brought up watching animation and there is a lot of interest in robot battles, so this Robo-One competition is all about making this a reality."
The video shows some of the highlights of the competition held in Korakuen Stadium Hall in Tokyo.
In the featherweight division, Automo03- Sandan, a karate robot competes against a Leghorn, a chicken robot, but the chicken robot beat the karate robot with its famous “Chicken Chop” karate moves.
The robots are diverse in these competitions, coming in all sizes and shapes. More than 112 robots participated in the event.
In the lightweight division, South Korean robot Teakwon-V smashed his opponents with a quick jab, to the delight of his maker Jeon Young Sun, who took home the 1 million yen ($10,000) division prize.
Jeon Young Sun said it helped him to survey the latest Japanese robot technologies. He also said South Korean technology is also improving a lot and this win shows that they can compete against the best Japanese inventions.
Japan, home to 40 per cent of the world's robots, provides a fertile ground for amateur programmers, who invest serious money and energy into building the ideal robot out of server motors, cameras, sensors and wires.
While electronic companies are reluctant to invest in robotics for customers, the robot enthusiasts are developing innovative robots.
Naoki Maru, a 41-year-old engineer and winner of the heavyweight division class, told Reuters:
You see a lot of technological breakthroughs in these kind of fighting robots. This competition, for example, happens twice a year, but every time we gather you witness here some incredible technological revolution in robotics…It's just great that in this field the 'hobbyists' develop and improve their robots faster than in the corporate world.
In the All Class division, where anyone can compete against any other robot, Maru's King Kaiser fighting robot, controlled by his 12-year-old son Kenta and 9-year-old son Ryouma, beat Jeon's Teakwon-V robot. The win still proves that Japanese robotic technology is superior.
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