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SF RoboGames This Weekend

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the please-give-my-best-wishes-to-everybody! dept.

Robotics 75

Vrogy writes "RoboGames (formerly RoboOlympics) kicked off on Friday in San Francisco with competitor check in and sub-Lightweight class fights. This competition, following in the footsteps of events such as Robot Wars and Battlebots, pits remotely-controlled fighting machines against each other in a bulletproof steel arena. The Competitors are many and tickets are still available. Saturday and Sunday will feature up to 340, or Superheavyweight robot combat, with such crowd favorites as Alcoholic Stepfather, a superheavy that spews flame nearly 25 feet, and Megabyte, a heavyweight that spins a steel shell of doom. RoboGames isn't only for fighting robots, though, it will also feature miniature robotic wrestlers called Robo-Ones, Lego bots, BEAM bots, robotic soccer games, and all kinds of art bots- it's like a festival of robots!"

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Something is missing... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12053662)

What, no gaybot?

Robot Club (4, Interesting)

OccidentalSlashy (809265) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053669)

I used to attend the Robot Club meetings at the San Francisco Exploratorium. I attended prepubescently, which is when you generally develop your fixation on robots. Before the smarmy do-nothing adults drove me away I managed to build a twin-motor platform with enough power to carry around a Radio Shack music chip. Later the batteries on that thing exploded.

And now the place has been taken over by 25-foot firebreathing pneumatisms. Good, good.

Are these kids picked on or what? (4, Funny)

bigtallmofo (695287) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053683)

Could you imagine everyone in your middle or high school knowing that you're part of a robot competition? As an adult, I think these competitions are great, but it violates two primary teenage directives: Don't care about anything, and Don't be smart about anything related to science.

I guess it's only a matter of time until one of the robot-competition kids decides he's not going to take being picked on anymore and unleashes his steel-shell of doom and fire spewing robot in his school.

Obligatory Far Side (2, Funny)

OccidentalSlashy (809265) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053713)

"My project's ready for grading, Mr. Big Nose...hey, I'm talking to YOU, squidbrain!"

OT: Oxy Moron (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12053783)

Do you live at 1600 Campus Road?

Or_f

Re:Are these kids picked on or what? (2, Funny)

Ohreally_factor (593551) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053720)

"We're changing our name from the AV club to the Robot Mafia."

Re:Are these kids picked on or what? (2, Interesting)

Zycom (720889) | more than 9 years ago | (#12054334)

Yes I can.

I'm on my high school's FIRST Robotics team. Then again, in a school of 3000 people it's easy enough to surround myself with fellow geeks and ignore the fact that the rest of the world exists.

Re:Are these kids picked on or what? (1)

lachlan76 (770870) | more than 9 years ago | (#12064610)

Actually, whether or not it is related to sex comes first...like this:

related_to_sex | !(don't_care | not_smart_about_science)

At least that's my theory on how it all works...to be honest, even us teenagers aren't completely sure ;)

Hedonismbot (0)

Stalyn (662) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053696)

I apologize for nothing!

Robots Expo still far away from Japan Robots, (2, Interesting)

Steward5732 (868088) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053700)

however, it is good starting point to compete with Japans in this Robot Area : Sanitation Robots Garbage Collection Robots Security Robots Guide Robots Child-Care Robots Next-Generation Wheelchair Robots http://www-2.expo2005.or.jp/en/robot/robot_project _01.html

Re:Robots Expo still far away from Japan Robots, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12053728)

That link is 404 not found.

Re:Robots Expo still far away from Japan Robots, (1)

Ohreally_factor (593551) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053749)

Your link 404ed, but I explored a little and found mention [expo2005.or.jp] of a "Partner robot with artificial tongue", a "multifingered haptic interface robot", and a "Humanoid probe robot".

No robots with vaginas as near as I can tell. I'm unbelivably disappointed, but my girlfriend* is nagging me to book plane tickets to Japan now.

*This is a lie.

robots or R/C? (4, Interesting)

dsb (52083) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053706)

is there is a difference?

or maybe not, since I've not looked into the formal definition of robots, but I always believed that robots were autonomous.

Re:robots or R/C? (2, Informative)

mcsmurf (757095) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053756)

Yeah, RoboGames seems to be a mixture of autonomous robots and R/C controlled. See the rules on this page [robogames.net] .

Re:robots or R/C? (1)

wooley-one (634162) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053784)

Strictly speaking, the word robot implies some autonomous functionality. Some of the machines in the competition probably qualify under this definition, and some probably don't. It isn't uncommon to automate some processes (weapon reloading etc.)

Defining Robots (1)

BigSlowTarget (325940) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053794)

You really want to stretch the point, what about robots operated via R/C from a computer nearby. What about robots with automated sequences - push one button and it does a series of operations.

At some point no robot is autonomous - someone has to switch the thing on, even if there is a program that takes over from there. The difference between that and 'I move one control and the robot spins in a circle' is at that point just the complexity of the actions programmed in.

Re:Defining Robots (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12055372)

Being a robot doesn't neccesarily mean autonomous. I think the original definition was 'does our bidding'. In which case an R/C controlled robot fit's in perfectly.

Re:robots or R/C? (1)

LordEd (840443) | more than 9 years ago | (#12058976)

The dictionary [reference.com] says:

robot
n.
  1. A mechanical device that sometimes resembles a human and is capable of performing a variety of often complex human tasks on command or by being programmed in advance.
  2. A machine or device that operates automatically or by remote control.
  3. A person who works mechanically without original thought, especially one who responds automatically to the commands of others.

I belive both options can be categorized as robots.

----------
+1 Research for the lazy

Robots of the future may hate us! (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12053715)

Imagine what a sentient robot of the future will think of us. We pitted their ancestors against each other in bloodsports (or should that be oilsports?) just for our pleasure. Surely they will be mightily pi**ed off!

Misreading (1)

desplesda (742182) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053717)

I misinterpreted the title as 'Science Fiction RoboGames This Weekend'.

Step right up, Bender versus Number 6, one and only performance! K9 takes on C-3PO!

Re:Misreading (1)

drxray (839725) | more than 9 years ago | (#12063743)

Number 6 was a robot? Man, that Prisoner show was even deeper than I thought.
Mind you, I missed that Ivanova was a lesbian first time round too...

Handgrenade? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12053723)

How'bout putting a hand grenade (the weapon) mounted on a virtually indestructible platform (the robot)? The fight would be over quickly...

Rawr (1)

Nevtje(hr (869571) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053743)

robots being the second best thing to the Porsche they never could afford? only robots don't have quite the girl attraction value.. same amount of testosterone required to run, though oh and let's hope they won't need to send in Gil Grissom during this one

What about FIRST????? (3, Interesting)

plutonium83 (818340) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053744)

FIRST [usfirst.org] (For the Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is far superiour than any stupid robowars program. We acually spend our time to create something constructive that inspires high school kids to pursue the fields of science or engineering rather than creating robots to mindlessly destory. Why isn't there a news story on the 7 regional events [usfirst.org] out of 30 that FIRST is having all over the US??

Re:What about FIRST????? (2, Interesting)

luna69 (529007) | more than 9 years ago | (#12054026)

While I don't agree that FIRST is "superior" (I think that there's room for all kinds of robots in the empire...), I am involved as a mentor with a team from Boulder, Colorado. We've been at our regional competition for two days now, and today is the comp's final day...with the top performers getting invited to the nationals in Atlanta in April.

FIRST really is remarkable. I've been amazed at the creativity these kids can harness, and at the solutions they've found to problems and the robots they've managed to build (in 6 weeks!). Talk about the Hacker ethos in action! And, walking around the pits for the last couple days, I've been really impressed with the overall vibe as well - nothing nasty, nothing destructive - just a bunch of kids (of all ages) having fun & helping each other out when necessary.

Now, if my team could just score a few more games today... :)

Re:What about FIRST????? (1)

chroma (33185) | more than 9 years ago | (#12054963)

I'm a volunteer for FIRST as well as a builder of fighting robots [tinyplanet.com] . Both require a high degree of technical knowledge, building skill, and planning.

Watching robots fight each other has just as much or more crowd appeal than FIRST events. Therefore, it should inspire youngsters to participate in engineering just as much as FIRST.

Battlebots IQ [battlebotsiq.com] is a program for teens that involves fighting robots. It doesn't cost $5000 just to get started, unlike FIRST.

Re:What about FIRST????? (2, Interesting)

wooley-one (634162) | more than 9 years ago | (#12055217)

Stop being an elitist asshole. Both USFIRST and BattlebotsIQ give a good deal of inspiration to the younger generation.

USFIRST requires the kids to do considerably less fabrication. Additionally, the sheer quantity of money required to compete in USFIRST pretty much kills off most groups who would like to participate.

BattlebotsIQ is only a $500 entry fee per bot. For the same $5k that it would cost to register for USFIRST, we're sending two teams to BattlebotsIQ with build, travel, and lodging included.

Re:What about FIRST????? (1)

Battlebotsrob (871069) | more than 9 years ago | (#12057401)

Here are my thoughts, free so take it at purchase value. In high school I was in FIRST, I started as a sophomore and by my senior year, I was in charge of pit, and mechanical. But, got booted off the team, because of a poor grade in English. This was the only reason I even showed up at school in the first place was so I could go work with the team. After that, I went and competed at Battlebots. Now I have been to many first comps (17) and many combat robotics competitions(29) and at FIRST they boast "Gracious professionalism" when in reality there is so much lying and rule bending, it becomes, not who has the better robot, but who can doctor the books the best.

That's why I see robot combat as an even playing field everyone has safety, weight, and ability to build as constraints. Last year there were over 40 robot combat events. This year around the same number are planned. One of the best things as far as "Gracious professionalism" at combat events is when you get your but handed to you by a better bot, and you can look at the pile of months of work, and smile, go and shake your competitors hand and feel like you did a the best you can. At FIRST I always left with a feeling like if only my alliance was stronger.

I now run robot combat events www.poundofpain.com Anyone who thinks FIRST is "far superior than any stupid robowars program" should try them both out and see what the virtues of each are and make a decision on their own. If you're in new England, check out one of my competitions, and then tell me it is superior. Any where else in the USA, there are many competitions at www.botleague.com to find one near you. In the end, anything that promotes a passion for the engineering fields, we need more of.

RoboWars are boring (3, Interesting)

lokedhs (672255) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053752)

I have watched it a few times. There is really very little battle, and when actually fighting it's pertty much the heaviest who wins. They all got the design down so they look the same: low, unexposed wheels, and a shovel in front to get underneath the enemy. The flame thrower is nothing more than a silly show-off feature.

They really need to change the rules somehow to make the fights more interesting. Racing though silly course with "dangerous spikes" that can't even penetrate a millimetre of aluminium is just silly.

I can't remember seeing any of the robots actually damaged on that show.

Now, to be fair, I did see another, similar, but much better robot show. I can't remember its name but it too suffered from being too... umm... "nice" to the robots.

Re:RoboWars are boring (2, Interesting)

timeOday (582209) | more than 9 years ago | (#12054098)

Maybe the slashdot crowd can propose some rules to make it interesting again?

I don't see how the designs could not converge. F1 racers all look the same. Tanks all look the same. Forklikfts all look the same. Given a fixed set of requirements, is that inevitable?

Re:RoboWars are boring (1)

Merk (25521) | more than 9 years ago | (#12083293)

Armored vehicles don't all look the same. APCs look different than tanks, which look different than tank-killers which look different from mobile artillery.

To even be defined as a "tank", something would have to look pretty similar: tracks and a main gun. But there's a lot of variety there. How many crew members? How big? How high off the ground?

The main problem with Robot Wars (and the like) is the rules. They essentially define an ecosystem where "survival of the fittest" plays out. Some of the constraints that define this ecosystem are:

  • A flat floor
  • Hard walls surrounding the play surface
  • Most matches are 1 on 1
  • A 5 minute or so time limit
  • No explosives, projectiles etc allowed

What I'd do to make these shows more entertaining is this. First, dump the "flat floor". That results in all these low-slung wedge bots winning everything. That's boring. Make the floor uneven and rough. Maybe even add thigns like puddles, potholes, sand, gravel, etc. Hey, take a typical street in the north east and you'd be set. Secondly, have a variety of different ways of completely destroying the robots. Third, have classes of matches that are 2 on 2, or other mix-ups. That way you could have one robot that specialized in trapping other bots, and then another one that specialized in destroying them. The trapper bot could be fast, but with almost no offensive capabilities other than trapping the other bots, the destructive one could be slow, but really heavy-hitting. Finally, do something to actively encourage the use of nasty things, like guns, explosives, etc.

Consider this environment. The theme is a city street. The bots start on the sidewalks on opposite sides of the street. The street is filled with potholes, puddles, and gravel, and every once in a while a car comes barreling down the street, smoking any robot in its path. A successful robot in that arena would have to be able to maneuver out of the way of oncoming vehicles, would have to have the clearance to get up onto the opposite sidewalk, and to avoid the potholes, and would need a way to destroy the opponent. This could be done by pushing it in front of a car, by shooting it, or who knows what else.

A second battlefield could be "trench warfare in a thunderstorm". The robots would have to fight eachother across rough terrain that is occasionally raked by machine gun fire. Occasional lightning bolts would fire down from the sky, hitting the best path to ground.

A third battlefield could be "D Day" where the bots fight on a sandy beach with mines scattered on it, maybe with some occasional shore bombardment if something doesn't move often enough. Robots would have to cope with driving over sand, would have to avoid being pushed into the ocean, and would have to

I think the keys to making it interesting is to mix up the battlefields. Don't allow the robot makers to become super specialized in one particular battlefield, because that gets boring quickly. Make some battlefields advantageous for nimble robots with proximity weapons, and others advantageous for stationary robots with attached machine guns.

Re:RoboWars are boring (1)

Illserve (56215) | more than 9 years ago | (#12054120)

Here's an idea:

You are limited to about 2 square feet of metal sheeting at the biggest weight class, and only 1 mm thick aluminum.

Then tighten up the weight restrictions a bit, making it harder to rig up makeshift armor out of non-sheet shaped metal

This would shift the emphasis towards robots that can deal damage, not take it. You have limited weight and armor, so you use that weight to do as much damage as possible.

This means exposed guts.

Exposed guts means fun times for spikey/smashy robots, and even those flame throwers might hope to melt some wiring.

Think of it like evolution, we shift the environment to make the current optimal solutions impossible, so now everyone has to find a totally new way to go.

Re:RoboWars are boring (2, Interesting)

Gubbe (705219) | more than 9 years ago | (#12054260)

Flat arena -> no ground clearance + fat armor + small wheels + high-speed erratic driving + hasty maneuvering.

Fill the arena with small obstacles, uneven surfaces and high/low ground. -> Big wheels, more ground clearance, importance of good suspension and handling characteristics, more weight spend on power systems, thus less dead weight in armor.

This makes even most current weapons such as circular saws and spikes more effective since there are more exposed wheels and less armor. This also brings a whole bunch of new tactics in play.

They could even make it a sand arena with small hills. This could actually give a fighting chance to walking robots and other unconventional designs.

Re:RoboWars are boring (2, Informative)

Illserve (56215) | more than 9 years ago | (#12054281)

Eliminating armor is the easier way to do it. What you are proposing raises the bar of design to such a level that you'd see designers spending the bulk of their time and money on the drivetrain and suspension which is not what we are paying to see.

We want simple driving with lots of traction, giving us the potential for lots of damage and kinetic energy, not dune buggies crashing into each other.

And walking bots? You're dreaming. There's a million reasons the military doesn't use them.

Re:RoboWars are boring (1)

Gubbe (705219) | more than 9 years ago | (#12054616)

I suppose you are right about the danger of turning the robot wars into "the tuning wars".
It would indeed raise the difficulty level for entry a bit, but then again it could inspire more capable engineers to show what they've got.

I don't agree with you on the matter of high speed and lots of traction though. What I'm suggesting is precisely the opposite of dune buggies crashing into each other. I would wager that it would in fact reduce the whole destruction derby who-gets-under-who-first crashfest aspect that currently dominates the robot wars and would shift weight towards using actual weapons, now that sheer mass wouldn't be the biggest weapon available.

Flippers would have to be smaller to accommodate bigger wheels, thus making them less effective. Then again saws and axes could become deadly tools in competent hands.

A problem with the legislated armor reducing approach would be that bots like hypnodisc that are basically one big weapon with no extra armor would become invincible. What, pray tell, could you legislate to make hypnodisc more vulnerable without crippling yet another area for innovation in the show?

And about that last comment regarding walking bots... I might be dreaming, but isn't that how the greatest ideas are born? Show me military battle machines with circular saws, hammers, axes and flippers and I'll consider your argument valid.
In a difficult environment, a walking bot could be fast and extremely deadly since it could be higher and thus attack from above. With less ability for high-speed leg-ramming on the part of the opposing bots, its legs would have to be cut or damaged by other means. Of course it would be incredibly difficult to build a good walking bot, but if the incentive is there, I'm sure somebody would come up with a good design.

Re:RoboWars are boring (1)

Illserve (56215) | more than 9 years ago | (#12055452)

not "could be"...it IS incredibly difficult to build a good walking bot. The best robot labs in the world are still making small, primitive insects that crawl around at a snail's pace. The physics of constructing them are far outside of the grasp of hobbyists.

Re:RoboWars are boring (1)

Lord_Dweomer (648696) | more than 9 years ago | (#12054703)

" Eliminating armor is the easier way to do it.

Nonsense, the REAL geek way would be to increase the weapons payload and its destructive potential! They have a bulletproof arena, lets see them use it.

Re:RoboWars are boring (1)

Insane Robotics (871269) | more than 9 years ago | (#12062576)

Being a combat robot builder myself I think your post is ridiculous. Taking away armor is not a very good way to increase damage. Do you know how much electronics cost. It may be fun for crowds but robot builders would be throwing down 1000$ bucks a match. I've seen 1lb robots shoot another robot 5 feet up in the air so you can't tell me that these aren't destructive.

Re:RoboWars are boring (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12063775)

Uh, firearms? Cheap and easy. It's the American way!

Seriously, I'd watch that. I got bored of robot wars after a couple of series, but add some real weapons and I'd buy the DVDs. And the special editions. I wouldn't go and watch in person though...

And to the guy worried about the cost of damaged electronics: a) a show people actually care about could afford to pay for repairs, and b) you'd effectively be doing military research = paydirt.

Want a real robot war? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12053760)

The DARPA Grand Challenge [darpa.mil] is a lot more interesting, and useful to boot...

More competitor shots to browse (2, Informative)

Cyclotron_Boy (708254) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053761)

For those who didn't RTFA, here's the link to a rather large directory of all the competitors. May the /.-ing begin...
Directory listing, free for perusal [buildersdb.com]

The sprints (1)

Skiron (735617) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053767)

I watched this last year in the UK (TV highlights), and the 60 yard sprint (or whatever it is) was so funny - spectators end up cheering on the losers as they finish like 5 minutes behind the winners. The swimming is great fun too. Now the rope climbing bots are something else, let alone the high jump! Great fun to watch.

Robot Olympics (1)

Ohreally_factor (593551) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053791)

Arguing on IRC is like competing in the Robot Olympics. You might win, but you're still a robot.

Not very useful. (1)

CosmeticLobotamy (155360) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053782)

I, personally, wouldn't want to go up against the flamethrower-bot, but I don't think it could "beat" a Matchbox car. If you're going to add fire, at least do it in the form of a cutting torch. Of course, I haven't read the rules.

Re:Not very useful. (1)

Ohreally_factor (593551) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053803)

I forgot where I saw it, but I've seen one of these flame thrower bots fry the wiring of it's opponent, then flip it over once it was immobilized. So it's not totally useless.

Though I agree, a smoke wrench would be much more effective. I'd also like to see a robot with extending arms with explosives on the tips, but I think that's against the rules, too. Machineguns and shotguns are also not allowed. Bunch of pussies!

Re:Not very useful. (2, Interesting)

BigSlowTarget (325940) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053824)

Unfortunately the rules do forbid oxygen as a fuel/combustion accelerator and generally restrict the fuel for flamethrowers to butane. If it can torch the protective lexan box its banned. Explosives are specifically forbidden. So are nukes.

The judges know this and take the issue into account while scoring. General audience analysis concludes the best chance for a flamethrower to make progress is twofold:
1) Increase the level of general heat in the robot. Many matches are lost because of component failure due to heating during operation (those motors and speed controllers get HOT). Adding a bit more heat might be just enough to push them over the top. This works best against robots with exposed drive elements.

2) Fry sensitive electronic components. Wires do sometimes run outside the armor. Antennas almost always do. If the opposing designer has been casual about his wire runs or left an opening he can lose a receiver or partial function

Both these work best if you can get through the armor first or if the other design has questionable elements

An Alternative (2, Interesting)

BigDogCH (760290) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053788)

For those of you who don't live close enough, and want something in the midwest, I recommend http://www.tcmechwars.com/ in Minneapolis MN.

I have competed in it twice, and had a blast. It is cheap and fun! Also, their rules are setup to make it very flexible and entertaining for the crowd.

Come on Slashdotters, build your own and compete! It is fun, even if your robot doesn't do very well.

RobotWars: UK vs. US version (5, Interesting)

Gogogoch (663730) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053822)

There are two RobotWars series - the original UK version, and the US version. There is a remarkable difference between the two, and says something about the cultural differences of these robot-loving countries.

The UK one is, well, British. It's all tongue-in-cheek with occasional whacky, funny, designs as well as serious competitive ones. Often the inventor's kids get to drive. When someone's machine gets ripped to shreds and they have their "exit interview" the vanquished say things like: "We had a great time; you know, they have very nice lunches here". The audience is full of cheering school kids and their families.

On the other hand the US version is like WWF. Everything is dead serious. Testosterone levels are high, since winning is everything. The interviewers and hosts try to pump-up the thrill power of the event (whereas the UK host is a comedian).

So the UK version doesn't take itself very seriously, whereas the US show is dipped in testoserone and macho, as I said. Now, I'm biased and prefer the UK version - for me its more fun (and I can't stand WWF anyway - but what do those Slashdoters who have seen both think?

An if this has a parallel with the actual cultrues of the countries, what does this mean?

Re:RobotWars: UK vs. US version (1)

Psychotext (262644) | more than 9 years ago | (#12054483)

I think the UK version is better... mainly because you get to see those comedy robots getting absolutely torn to shreds by the nastier bots (Especially the house robots).

The US version is WAY too serious.

Re:RobotWars: UK vs. US version (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12054641)

I have to ask the question... is that username related to Llanfair PG? (I have an Auntie that lives there).

Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllanty..... (1)

Gogogoch (663730) | more than 9 years ago | (#12057668)

Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysilio gogogoch [bbc.co.uk] must be the longest place name in the world. Oh, the link above says it is the longest railway station name in the UK, and suggests it is the longest domain name. Luckily we have moved on since 8.3 filenames! From what I have heard, your Auntie lives in a very nice place.

To answer your question most people in the UK know of Llanfair although they may be like me and only know the first two syllables and the last three. Some years ago I had to come up with a Celtic name to play DAOC [darkageofcamelot.com] and, well, I thought that Gogogoch was a good one :-)

Re:Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllanty.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12057850)

:)

Thanks for the info.

Re:RobotWars: UK vs. US version (1)

wooley-one (634162) | more than 9 years ago | (#12055297)

For the record, the US version was hosted on Comedy Central. It was a little more serious, but the intention was still to have a good time. It may just have been the way it was edited. The only thing that kind of drove me nuts from the uk show was the house robots. Just my preference.

Re:RobotWars: UK vs. US version (3, Informative)

FryGuy1013 (664126) | more than 9 years ago | (#12055393)

The US version of Robot Wars was actually hosted by TNT I believe. Comedy Central hosted BattleBots. Notice that after these shows got too serious, they got cancelled, yet the UK Robot Wars continues to run. I think they just finished filming season 9 earlier this year.

Re:RobotWars: UK vs. US version (1)

Deltaspectre (796409) | more than 9 years ago | (#12055470)

Anyone remember Robotica or whatever it was on the TLC (?) channel... They had to have their robot pass an obstacle course of sorts and after they get teh top 4 they had fights (uneventful :D) Some of the challenges included breaking glass panels that were a foot or two off the ground

Re:RobotWars: UK vs. US version (1)

wooley-one (634162) | more than 9 years ago | (#12058376)

I stand corrected. I wasn't aware of the show on TNT and thought the OP was making reference to battlebots. I guess I have some more to watch. Thanks.

Re:RobotWars: UK vs. US version (1)

Battlebotsrob (871069) | more than 9 years ago | (#12057429)

Robot Wars has been in the us since 95. read this book if you want to know about how the whol deal went down. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0743229517/ 002-0381231-1365641

RobOLYMPICS lawsuit (2, Funny)

BigSlowTarget (325940) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053836)

Used to be called this. At that point Arnold Schwartzenegger (sp?) was going to attend, then someone in the office talked to the US Olympics committee. They immediately sued over using Olympics in the title. Net result - renamed the games (even last years) and no Arnold.

Interesting how they can sue over a trademark that has been around for 2500+ years.

FIRST Robotics (1)

TLouden (677335) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053844)

And today is the last day for many of the regionals for FIRST Robotics, a highschool level competition sponsored by NASA. Too bad I couldn't compete in both at the same time.

TV Coverage! (1)

3770 (560838) | more than 9 years ago | (#12054327)

Man, we need TV coverage of this event.

I live in Houston but I want to see this spectacle.

Re:TV Coverage! (3, Interesting)

ThyPiGuy (870924) | more than 9 years ago | (#12054469)

I thought I saw something very similiar to this on TechTV a couple of years ago. It had all the same stuff, obstacle course, fighting, rope climbing, swimming, etc, but I thought it was in the UK. Maybe they moved it here. Maybe it will be on TV at some point again.

Re:TV Coverage! (1)

chroma (33185) | more than 9 years ago | (#12055038)

A quick looks at Builder'sDB [buildersdb.com] shows that there's an event in texas, Robot Rebellion.

BEST Robotics (1)

Deltaspectre (796409) | more than 9 years ago | (#12054668)

The past two years my school has been involved in BEST Robotics (http://www.bestinc.org) Sure it isn't a 'true' robot, it is operated like an RC car, but it really helps us think *outside* the box and develop some engineering skills (some, not all) This last year we didn't finish our robot on time, and had to just take it out there and stand on the edge of the arena like fools and leech off the other players :D

Real weapons (1)

Lord_Dweomer (648696) | more than 9 years ago | (#12054718)

What laws are there to stop people from creating robots that have REAL damage potential, and then fighting them? Why can't we have an "anything goes" competition. Thats what people really want to see. They want to see robots with guns, explosives, acid, rockets, etc. Why don't we have that yet? I guarantee it'd get a helluva lot better ratings than Battle Bots. And if safety is an issue, host it remotely in an arena with no spectators and let everybody view through monitors.

Re:Real weapons (2, Informative)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 9 years ago | (#12054938)

> What laws are there to stop people from creating robots that have REAL damage potential, and then fighting them? Why can't we have an "anything goes" competition. Thats what people really want to see. They want to see robots with guns, explosives, acid, rockets, etc. Why don't we have that yet? I guarantee it'd get a helluva lot better ratings than Battle Bots. And if safety is an issue, host it remotely in an arena with no spectators and let everybody view through monitors.

Unfortunately, there are plenty such laws. Sometimes the planets come together, and the fire department cooperates with the landowner, the permits get signed, and the audience gets to show up and sign waivers before being admitted.

Three words for ya:

Survival Research Laboratories [srl.org] .

There was almost a show in Vegas a couple of years ago, but it fell apart at the last minute. (Pity - Vegas is the perfect venue for it; easy air travel in, lots of nearby desert). There may be a show in San Francisco next month.

SRL can best be summarized by saying that when they did a show in the Balkans a few years ago, the local military showed up... because they thought the war had started up again.

Re:Real weapons (1)

chroma (33185) | more than 9 years ago | (#12055063)

The big limiting factor is money to pay for the robots and the venue.

Re:Real weapons (1)

jotux (660112) | more than 9 years ago | (#12059209)

"...stop people from creating robots that have REAL damage potential"

I think you should go to one of these events and stand next to a 340lb robot...then say they don't have any real damage potential. for reference.video [team-moon.com] video [team-moon.com]

The 'Teen' Picked on Thing? (1)

atlantia (871027) | more than 9 years ago | (#12055648)

HI I'm new saw the comment on more teens would do it if they didn't get picked on. Well I'm a 14 year old girl who (if I knew how) would soooooooo make one of those cool robots. I'm really into science and yeah, I get called a nerd but only as a laugh. Most people don't mind unless you talk about it loads to them and drag them into it. Oh, by the way this isn't meant to offend anyone, just stating what I think. Cya xxx

Re:The 'Teen' Picked on Thing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12059348)

Get hold of "JunkBots, Bugbots, and Bots on Wheels: Building Simple Robots With BEAM Technology" by David Hrynkiw & Mark Tilden. An excellent read and it'll show you how to build little robots out of junk electronics, so a very cheap way to see if you really would like to be a roboticist. Reviews of it can be found on Amazon.

VIDEO! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12056349)

Buster VS Tombstone [teamkickme.com]
Alcoholic Stepfather VS. MegaByte [teamkickme.com]

I'll post more later if any more are uploaded -Vrogy

Re:VIDEO! (1)

mightymik2 (545730) | more than 9 years ago | (#12065117)

Is there something amiss with the Buster vs Tombstone vid? It goes to just under 1/2 way, then stops on an INCREADABLE shower of sparks, then quits. No doubt a great hit, but i wanna see the damage afterward. Great vids. Thanks.

RoboGames Photos (1)

laughingsquid (871087) | more than 9 years ago | (#12057704)

Here are some photos shot this weekend: http://www.flickr.com/photos/laughingsquid/sets/18 6223/ [flickr.com]

There's still one more day left (Sunday, March 26th), so if you are in the SF Bay Area, come check it out. Unlike some robot events, this one is kid-friendly.

Re:RoboGames Photos (1)

laughingsquid (871087) | more than 9 years ago | (#12058451)

Correction: The last day of this year's event is Sunday, March 27th (not the 26th as I previously stated).
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