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The previous 'Robot Olympics' competition

By Walter McDaniel     Jul 7, 2014 in Technology
Recent articles on Japan's possible Robot Olympics sparked a wave of interest about the concept on many sites. A previous contest was held in 2013 that could give us some insight on what the future event may look like.
In America, as well as Japan, competition in the robotics field is both a job and a past time for many. Millions of dollars are poured into creating and promoting the best robots possible. It is unsurprising therefore that there was a previous contest that huge companies competed in.
The contest was known as the DARPA Robotics Challenge and had $2 million on the line of which the top eight would get. Big names such as Google, NASA and MIT were all competing. Interestingly enough the Japanese team was working on behalf of Google themselves. Representatives from Japan and Germany were also there. The event was organized to find the best designs for rescue robots from around the globe.
It is important to note that due to the world economy Google now has a stake in several robotics companies they have purchased. This means that even when a team from Japan wins they may be owned by another from America and vice-versa.
The call for the next Robot Olympics in 2020 is probably a calculated move. Japanese team Schaft won this previous contest with their humanoid robot. While they only had a few teams competing many were considered the best in the world and the tests were harsh.
Each robot had to negotiate stars, wreckage and remove items simulating fallen debris on accident victims. This victory has many convinced that the result would be the same in a full event with hundreds of robots. A few teams from North America places including MIT but the Japanese contenders pulled ahead by winning 27 out of the possible 32 points, higher than any competitor.
Whether their confidence is well-place or not many are now interested in the prospect of another competition with national pride on the line. If the plans all work out then the even could happen alongside the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics. Countries will have to defend their flag a second time in a new sort of sports arena.
More about Japan, Olympics, World Events, Technology, Robotics
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