RoboGames: Combat Robots Face Off for 15th Year
RoboGames has grown into the world's largest open robot competition. Combat robotics is still the biggest crowd draw, but other popular events are Sumo, Humanoid and ArtBot challenges.
RoboGames, the world’s largest open robotics competition, returns to the Alameda County Fairgrounds April 21-23, 2017. Presented by Visit Tri-Valley, the event runs from 12-9pm on Friday, and 12-7pm on Saturday and Sunday.
Tickets are available for $30 per day or $250 VIP, which includes access to the ComBox pit and other exclusive areas.
RoboGames was founded as the ROBOlympics in 2004 as an exercise in cross-pollination, and has grown into the world’s largest open robot competition, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. Competitors from all over the world compete in 55 events.
About two thirds of the robot events are autonomous, while the remaining third are remotely operated. Combat robotics is currently the biggest crowd draw, getting tens of thousands of spectators to the event, but other popular events are Sumo, Humanoid Challenges, and ArtBot.
New during 2017, RoboGames will be streamed live on Twitch, for the first time making the Games available to millions of people who can’t attend in person. Spectators from all over the world can watch their home team go for the gold in real time. RoboGames will have a multi-camera shoot with on-air personalities, and feature many of the under-reported events in HD. Tune in at Twitch.tv/robogames.
RoboGames is similar to the Olympics in that competitors are challenged in a number of different events that showcase focused abilities and skills. The largest difference is that RoboGames competitors are robots, while the coaches are human engineers. As of 2016, teams from 39 countries have participated in RoboGames and continue to use the event as a way of exploring new technology and challenging themselves as engineers.
RoboGames also features non-competitive demos and talks by leading robotics industry designers and engineers from the world.
RoboGames was founded by David Calkins, president of the non-profit Robotics Society of America (RSA). Calkins, who participated in all types of robot competitions around the world, realized the need for cross-pollination between events - as too many robot builders over-specialized within a single field. He suggested combat contestants try their hand at sumo, sumo builders start a robot soccer team, and encourage programmers to trade in their compilers for a soldering iron. As few roboticists took his advice, he realized the only way to get the various disciplines to learn what exciting things were going on outside their specialty was to create an event that brought them all into the same venue. Many teams that participate in RoboGames bring multiple robots to compete in many different events.