“Robot-sumo, or pepe-sumo, is a sport in which two robots attempt to push each other out of a circle (in a similar fashion to the sport of sumo). The robots used in this competition are called sumobots.”
While it may come as a surprise to you, robot sumo wrestling has been going on in Japan for several years now. And yet, this hasn’t stopped one video of these sumobots that was uploaded onto YouTube from breaking the Internet a couple days ago, reaching YouTube’s top trending list. Although I’m unable to explain its all-of-a-sudden explosive popularity, the video is quite enjoyable and shows how robots are changing the way we view sports.
With the speed of a crack head, two robots would be placed in a circle à la traditional sumo wrestling and attempt to knock each other outside of the designated boundary line. None of the robots are controlled manually by humans; rather, by using infrared and ultra-sonic sensors, each robot is able to detect both their opponent and the boundary line. This allows them to operate autonomously and (more often than not) avoid going out of the circle themselves.
So is sumobot wrestling going to be the next popular international sport? Only time will tell, but if this video’s viewing rate tells us anything, it’s that the fringe sport clearly has the capability of captivating a large audience.
Photo Credit: Robert McGregor