Mr. Roboto's Orbiting Dojo


Most of Defense Tech's new crop of bloggers are loaded with security or technical experience: former platoon leaders, missile defense engineers, homeland defense analysts, insider magazine editors. Steven Snell, on the hand hand, is just your average, garden-variety maniac. But I'm loving this Brit's snarky wit. And I'm hoping this is the first of many posts for the since the Beastie Boys Intergalactic video have I been this excited about robots fighting.Defense Tech has detailed the Pentagon's numerous efforts to deal with a possible rumble in space before. As you may have guessed, they've been trying to cram everything from exotic micro-satellites to combat-ready marines into orbit. But even the blue-sky research brains at DARPA are behind the times when it comes to the coolest thing since naked Counter-Strike.New Scientist's tech blog reports:

A mini-satellite carrying several small humanoid robots will (hopefully) be launched into space in October 2010. Once safely in orbit, the satellite will release its robotic passengers, who will proceed to fight each other in the vacuum of space.
That's what organizers of ROBO-ONE, the annual Japanese robot fighting tournament hope to see in just a few years. The official ROBO-ONE site (translated) describes the competition as a "grapple athletic meet by the two-legged robot". In short, its not your usual arena match with competitive dad wrenching the controls from his teary-eyed child mid-battle.Is any of this actually possible? And will it be before my robot learns his own moves ? Frankly, maybe. Let's face it, robots fighting in space is pretty Rumsfeld . And if you combine the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency's recent achievements and the popularity of home made robot kits in Tokyo, we could be watching a very good scrap.-- Steven Snell
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