800 robots to compete at International RoboGames
By Laura Dudnick
June 12, 2007
Over 800 robots will storm the Bay Area this weekend at the fourth
annual International RoboGames, also labeled in the Guinness Book
of World Records as the "world's largest robot competition."
The robots will compete in 61 different events, including combat,
soccer, sumo, basketball, hockey, fire fighting, android races,
android acrobatics, art robots, iron-man exoskeleton weight lifting,
and android kung-fu.
Award-winning robot teams from Japan and Brazil are both expected
to produce robots to compete in various categories. It is anticipated
that a Japanese team will bring a robot able to roller skate and
skateboard as well.
The show is also expected to boast combat robots, with some weighing
as heavy as 340 pounds. The robot fights, which include crashes
and flame-throwing, take place behind bullet-proof glass in order
to protect the audience.
"The combat robots just keep getting better each year,''
RoboGames founder David Calkins said in a statement. "We've
got teams flying in from around the US and Canada, Brazil, Mexico,
the UK, Netherlands, Australia, and even Iran just to compete
in the robot combat.''
In addition to the 61 regular sporting events, RoboGames will
host the 12th Annual Federation of International Robot-Soccer
Association (FIRA)'s 12th annual Robot World Cup, where teams
from at least 20 countries are expected to compete in the robot
"We're really thrilled to be host to [the] FIRA World Cup,''
Calkins said. "The FIRA teams arethe best researchers in
the world... The improvements these guys make in their robots
each year always amazes me, and I see great robots all the time.''
The venue will be open to the press on Thursday, although not
all robots will be on display by then.
Friday is the "Judd-Feldstein-Bruce Free Kids Day,'' which
omits an admission charge for children 17 and under. The soccer
and combat events will begin on Friday, in addition to the opening
night VIP/Press/Contestant Party, which begins at 6 p.m.
On Saturday the medal events will take place, and will carry
over to Sunday. Saved for Sunday are the lightweight, middleweight,
heavyweight, and super-heavyweight combat finals.
Engineering teams from 30 different countries will be traveling
to San Francisco for the competitions, which will take place Friday
through Sunday from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. each day.
RoboGames was founded as the ROBOlympics in 2004 by Calkins,
who recognized the need for events in robot competitions that
combined various fields of interest. Calkins wanted to bring different
types of robot builders together in order to let them exchange
ideas and learn from one another.
RoboGames also offers recognition to engineers from around the
world with little or no contestant fees and consistent rules among
the various disciplines.
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