Vstone’s Beauto Chaser hobby robot kit costs $60 USD and uses IR distance sensors to autonomously trace black lines. Vstone recently held a tournament where 23 hobbyists turned out along with their customized ‘bots, some of which had up to 8 sensors and are programmed in a user-friendly flow chart editor as well as C.
The winner of this leg of the tournament only took home $100 USD, with more challengers sometime late November / early December. Even internet competitors are welcome to send their robots from around the world, allowing many more people to participate and watch the action unfold online. The inexpensive kit seems like a great introduction to robotics, and allows for plenty of modifications along the way. Video:
A one-on-one humanoid tournament was also taking place, where a couple of Vstone’s latest hobby kits, the Robovie-nano, participated (two in the front row). Check out the size difference between them and the other kits! They’re so cute I could just eat them.
[source: Impress Robot Watch (JP)]