Thursday, August 23, 2012

Robots Vie In Own 'Olympics'

London might be horde to the Olympics and paralympics but Bristol is the place to be if you are a sporty robot.

26 teams from around the world are now competing in the FIRA RoboWorld Cup

They are receiving segment in a operation of games, inclusive football, basketball and weightlifting.

It is the initial time that the eventuality has been hosted in the UK and organisers say that they have had a record number of entries.

The robots have moreover crushed a couple of world archives along the way.

The Usain Bolt of the drudge world comes from Singapore.

"The scurry world record was 42 seconds but Singapore has crushed that with 31 seconds," organiser Dr Guido Herrmann told the BBC.

Unlike their human counterparts, the robots do not run 100 metres.

"It is 3 metres [9ft 10in] deliver and 3 metres back," explained Dr Herrmann.

Homegrown pre-tournament favourites from Plymouth University will vie against Singapore in the scurry last on Saturday and "still have a really great chance", he said.

It could be moulding up to be the drudge homogeneous of super Saturday.

Another local team, from Bristol University's robotics laboratory, is competing in the last of the marathon.

The eventuality - a tiresome 42 metres - is going to be a dare for Team Panther, as the access is dubbed.

"To be honest we'd only be cheerful to complete the race. At the short time the drudge isn't on foot really well," confessed group associate David Pollard.

The contest is done more tough by the fact the teams have not been told in allege where the race will take place.

"A table-top is simpler than a building or runner but the aspect is nonetheless to be decided," he added.

Team Panther's drudge has been built from graze but it will be competing against shop-bought robots which, according to Mr Pollard, are now outperforming the handcrafted versions.

But he doesn't regard this is unfair.

"Essentially you should be able to erect a improved drudge than a off the shelf but this is the initial year," he said.

The principal concentration of the contest is football, but contest in other disciplines has moreover been intense. The weightlifing record is a of a few approaching to fall.

"The stream world record is to lift 89 DVDs that is considerably a bit for a tiny robot. But already in practice a couple have carried 100 DVDs," mentioned Dr Herrmann.

Many of the robots vie in multi-part sports. The organiser described them as "decathletes" rsther than than single-event specialists.

Fun is at the heart of the contest but all entrants contingency watch a critical rule.

"The robots contingency be autonomous. Once they beginning the humans contingency be hands-off," Dr Herrmann said.

It is a manoeuvre for Bristol to have won the bid to horde the eventuality that has been running given 1996.

But Dr Herrmann certified that contest was "fierce".

"I had to contention a bid in 2010 and go to Bangalore to present it," he said.

"Putting the dates between the Olympics and the paralympics might have helped."

The contest ends on Saturday.

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