Finally, a contest to reward the world’s crappiest fighting robots

“If one crappy robotic and every other crappy robotic fought each and every different — what would occur?”

In an generation the place robots like Nao, Pepper, Sophia and Atlas set up to amaze us with their respective skills to stroll, be informed, keep in touch in several languages,  acknowledge other other folks and partake in heavy lifting, every other suite of robots is tricky at paintings reducing the bar of robot fulfillment.

Hebocon is an annual robotic festival for the technically ungifted the place 31 robots compete in sumo taste wrestling suits the place the robots attempt to push their competition off a board via a mixture of pushing, shoving, whirring and sheer patience. The most important problem can also be getting robots to transport in any respect, let on my own ship assault strikes and self-defence tactics.  The Global Championship was once not too long ago held in Tokyo.

See additionally: Will robots in any case take farmers’ jobs?

The phrase Hebocon derives from the Jap phrase Heboi, used to explain one thing this is technically deficient, or low in high quality and with this spirit in thoughts, robots are made with a unusual array of kit together with rapid meals wrappers, rapid noodle bins, intercourse toys, finally end up toys and Barbie dolls.  In step with the organisers, “entrants will want compromise and give up as a substitute of concepts and technical ability.” Robots are if truth be told penalised for having top tech options and the help of the maker isn’t atypical within the festival, similar to a serving to finger to get the robotic transferring when a motor has failed. It a contest the place screw ups in technical output can also be thwarted through technique and dogged patience.

The souls of robots that may be thought to be scrapheap fodder are revered, as winners in each and every spherical decide to glue portions of the shedding robots to ‘raise at the will’ of the ones knocked out.


Hong Kong consultant Package da Studio received the NicoTsuku award along with his table-flipping robotic. (The robotic if truth be told flipped itself over when it was once seeking to turn the table.) Total winner, Ricky Chan, constructed a robotic known as the “Robotic-Managed Controller Robotic,” which is composed of 2 elements – a controller that seems like a tiger robotic, and a robotic that seems like a controller.



For the reason that first festival held in 2014 in Tokyo, Hebocon has unfold over 25 nations and over 60 competitions has been hosted. In the newest World contest in August, individuals hailed from Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Iceland, France and Hungary. It’s simple to mock the Hebocon awards for comedy impact on my own, however the fact is that they convey robotics (albeit in it’s maximum primitive shape) to those that both lack technical talent or could be creatively or technically blocked. Because the creators inspire:

” Pass right into a toy retailer and purchase a kind of transferring toy canines, rip off its external, and stick some cardboard on there, and also you’d be taking a look at your unique robotic. Get some items of picket, sharpen them, and provides your robotic some horns: your robotic’s attacking talent has simply sky-rocketed. You could even get extra inventive and set up a motorized weapon onto your robotic. Didn’t reasonably paintings

out? That’s K! That’s what we name Heboi. Grasp that inaccurate robotic of yours, and take part in a Hebocon festival!”

With sponsors like Arduino and Maker Faire and a cult following, it brings a type of robotics to the hundreds.

Cate Lawrence

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