Friday, April 14, 2017

Robot Fight Clubs in China

A 13 feet tall combat robot standing outside the fighting arena in Beijing on April 8  

By Asia Pop Culture

The robot fighting competition in Hugh Jackman's movie “Real Steel” is now a tournament reality in Beijing on April 8 and 9 - the first round of Major League FMB (Fighting My Bots), which is the very first combat robot competition in China.

Many still remember the British “Robot War” and American “BattleBots,” both of which were famous in the early 2000s.  Now China welcomed its own version of BattleBots. in Asia, South Korea and India have taken the lead in offering such competitions, along with Russia.

FMB, founded in 2015, currently organizes two types of FMB competition: the FMB Championship for amateur players and the Major League FMB for professional clubs. In this year’s events, the FMB Championship boasts a prize pool totaling 180,000 RMB (USD $2,615), while the Major League FMB has 1 million RMB (USD $145k+) up for grabs.  The FMB Championship also provides special prizes for the best technology and the best robot design.

FMB also revealed that the FMB World Cup is scheduled to take place in China in autumn of this year, when 20 clubs from 16 countries and regions will come together. The first warm-up games will be held at the end of April, and two more warm-up games are scheduled in June and September respectively. reported that the rules were simple: in the course of a three-minute one-on-one fight, one robot must knock out the other to win the match. If a knockout does not occur, the robots are graded on their respective performances during the match, including on agility, attacks and defense ability.

The use of water, magnets and electromagnetic guns is forbidden, but any other kind of sharp-edged weapon is welcomed. The games are held in an arena surrounded by heavy metal doors and bulletproof glass. Inside, a diesel-filled drone breathes fire from time to time. The floor is equipped with random gadgets: thick, metal poles that can be erected at any time, and fast-spinning gears lurking underground, waiting to tear into unsuspecting robots.

If you feel like trying your hands on a combat robot but don't know where to start, no worries, FMB runs a one-month robot camp for anyone interested in designing combat robots.

Asia Pop Culture still prefers dancing robots like these:

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