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ROBO-ONE’s 2nd Humanoid Helper Project

ROBO-ONE’s 2nd Annual Humanoid Helper Project got underway today.  As its name suggests, it’s a competition to build a robot that can do useful things like help out around the house.  A total of seven (unusually large) robots are competing.  In the qualifying leg of the competition, the robots must open a bottle and pour liquid into a cup.  In the 2nd round they have to carry a tray without dropping anything.  The robots are tele-operated by people who cannot see the robots directly; instead, they watch what they’re doing through a video feed coming from the robot’s cameras.  In the 3rd round of the day there’s a 30 minute endurance race (as the robots may need to make pit stops, the operators are allowed to see their robot).  Andono Blog’s YouTube Channel has some great videos from today’s events.

On Sunday there will be a Robot Fashion Show where competitors will have 2 minutes to showcase their robot’s design, movement, and human-friendly qualities.  The final round, Robot Hospitality, puts the robots to work for human customers retrieving drinks from a fridge.  Besides carrying the bottles while walking on 2 feet, the robots’ conversational abilities (greeting and speaking) as well as customer satisfaction will be graded.

In addition to this mayhem, a ROBO-ONE Light Class fighting tournament is taking place.  Check out Iketomu’s YouTube Channel for footage from the day’s glorious battles.

Update: Iketomu has posted a blog entry with some choice videos of the Humanoid Helper events over at Biped Robot News Japan.

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