Robot Masters? Or a web full of LIES?

I suspect these are fakes (animation or motion capture rather than autonomous balancing) but if these are for real, they're pretty impressive. Watch the MPEGs at the bottom of the pages: TeamOsaka, Robovie-M.
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18 Responses:

  1. xxv says:

    I've seen some other teams competing on the 'net in more push/shove competitions with similar robots. I imagine there's some common system one can purchase and assemble, as they all seem to have a similar design. They all seem to be remote controlled, however.

    I can't read enough Japanese (yet) to get the details of these competitions, but I'm pretty sure they're real.

    more info on the competition that these are for: and in Japanese:

  2. omarius says:

    What Omar wants to know is, why do Japanese pages always use that funky, tall, pixellated font--even when they're in English?

    • jwz says:

      I guess because your browser is broken? It looks totally normal to me in Mozilla 1.7...

    • xxv says:

      If you look at the encoding (in Firefox, do Tools → Page Info) of the pages, it's most likely Shift_JIS or something like that. In most browsers, each character encoding has an associated font (or a few).

      The font associated with the Japanese character encodings often has Roman characters in addition to the Japanese characters. Those fonts, however, tend to have crappy, big, blocky Roman characters. (many times they take up the the same width as a Japanese character)

  3. silveryblu says:

    Ash and I saw 'em at Robolympics. Ashley's photos of them got into ESPN magazine, I'm sure you'll remember him casually mentioning it. >;)

    They really do have amazingly human self-balancing-type movements.

    Ash's photos:

  4. greatbiggary says:

    It never occurred to me these weren't real when I found them about 3 months ago. Thanks for planting the seed of doubt. I'd have already bought the kit, but I can't spare the $4500US. There's a little 3D utility it "allegedly" comes with that "supposedly" has some physics built into it, so you can "purportedly" design self-balancing moves and perfect them, then "presumably," download them to the robot. The entire body is made of servo motors, of the kind in the Troody robotic dino you posted awhile back (and you believed that one).

    The vision system is similar to the Kaidan 360º One VR. I've been hankering for one of those, too, since last year, but again, too much money. I want to attach it to my Elph PowerShot S230. I also wanna try the miniDV with some code to turn a movie into a VR panoramic movie. But I digress...

    • jwz says:

      The moves those robots are going through are way more complex and impressive than what Troody does.

      That panoramic lens is tempting... But they don't seem to have a Canon mount kit for it? It also doesn't say how bright the lens is.

      • greatbiggary says:

        The moves those robots are going through are way more complex and impressive than what Troody does.

        True, but Troody is carrying along a ton more weight with that ridiculous head, and it doesn't have the benefit of arms as counterbalances. The Robovie-M is made of nothing but servo motors. It's about as compact as it gets until we invent better actuators. Motors are huge, Nitinol is too slow, and air muscles require an air compressor.

        But they don't seem to have a Canon mount kit for it?

        CKC Power sells adapter kits. They're very well thought-out. Here's the Canon page. They thumbscrew to the tripod mount (and provide another 1/4-20 tripod mount centered in the large metal thumbscrew), and are out of the way of everything, including the battery compartment. Once you've got some threads in front of the lens, the sky's the limit. I got 2 step-up rings from them, too, and all of my old Nikon SLR filters and closeup lenses work on the S230 now. I've been using one of these wide angle conversion lenses (lenses that mount in front of other lenses) and it works great.

        Some example environments and still lifes with my S230, CKC adapter, and Nikon WC-E63 Wide-Angle Converter Lens setup. I get a little pulling at the corners, because it doesn't all line up perfectly, but I've been very happy with it.

        It also doesn't say how bright the lens is.

        I don't care if it's a genius or retarded. I want one. I've been keeping my eyes out for anything chrome that looks like a bowed outward cone. Maybe a lowrider accessory place would have something, or a Harley shop...?


    This seems like the kind of news item you like to post.

  6. gimpyprophet says:

    This might interest you. I saw a video of it today and it's really quite stunning. It's a dancing robot, but from what I can tell, it can move and do other things as well. Really quite amazing.

  7. scosol says:

    hmm what makes you think it's fake?

    they all look legit to me.... though I bet it could side-arm the ball harder than either over or under hand.
    and "shame"... always the Japanese with their shame... :P

  8. In unrelated news, I got my first "Best regards, Jamie Zawinsky" spam today.