Walking into the arena, the first thing you notice are the noises: booming, clanging, the sound of metal crashing upon metal a short distance away. Followed by the smell of flames and burning rubber.
Welcome to Robogames.
Robogames is an annual robotics competition that features more than 50 different events, including combat, sumo, hockey and mech warfare. Dubbed “the Olympics of robots,” this year’s event took place April 15 to 17 in San Mateo, California, with a colorful array of robots in attendance.
The three-day event has much to see and learn, with electronics, robotics and educational-toy distributors’ booths lining the path to the back of the auditorium, where the largest fighting stage is located. The completely enclosed structure separates spectators from the carnage within by a scratched-up sheet of Lexan polycarbonate over aluminum support beams. Other competition areas included a maze, a mini soccer field and a smaller, enclosed “ComBot” stage with four 2-foot tall buildings. And of course, plenty of bots were just mingling with the public.
Read more (and check out the video footage from the event) at Wired’s Gadget Lab.