Forget the Grand Challenge

Its time for Baka Robocup.

Baka RoboCup (baka means “foolish” or “stupid” in Japanese), a competition organized by entertainment giant Yoshimoto Kogyo, which is arguably Japan’s most influential comedy production company, will pit humorous robots against each other in a comedy throw-down this November. Organizers hope the contest will inspire roboticists to devote serious attention to the art of creating impractical (but entertaining) machines.

To qualify for the competition, aspiring baka-robo must satisfy 3 conditions: (1) they must be mechanical in nature (i.e. they must have moving parts), (2) they must serve no useful purpose (i.e. they must be as impractical and worthless as possible), and (3) they must make people laugh (with entertaining action, amusing features, systems that surprise or shock the audience, etc.). The robots also must be shorter than 240 cm (7 ft 10 in) and weigh less than 100 kg (220 lbs), and they are not allowed to use explosives or emit sparks or liquid. [via]

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