I’ve always believed that our number one goal when it comes to robotics should be to create real-life Rock em’ Sock ’em Robots, as dramatized in the think piece Real Steel, starring Mr. Hugh Jackman.
It appears that the Japanese have now taken the lead in the field of surrogate battle-bots. Naoki Maru — who has won Japan’s ROBO-ONE competition multiple times with his robot King Kizer — has improved on his design with the help of a Kinect-style Asus Xtion Pro Live sensor.
Maru and his son demonstrated the new sensor-based system on a new, larger version of King Kizer, which stands 3-feet, 2-inches and emulates its operator’s movements with a slight delay. His previous robots were controlled by a physical harness which allowed for upper body movements but left everything else up to a remote control.
Right now, the new and improved King Kizer is only capable of gently tapping things with its fists, but we could be only a John Cafferty-scored robot montage away from seeing the full-sized robot boxing matches that the American and Japanese publics deserve.