Supa Robot Attack
A British producer has launched a new humanoid robot fighting league called Supa Robot Attack. Though the technology is basically the same as the Robo-One and related contests in Japan, the style is a little more like Dekinnoka, with a decidedly Western spin.
First, the structure. Rather than hosting a big tournament once or twice a year, Supa Robot Attack is hosting a single fight each week. That’s obviously not enough to draw a large crowd, so the producers have apparently supplied one; the real audience is on YouTube, where each fight will be posted.
The rules are fairly standard: knocking the opponent out of the ring wins, but failing that, you can win by points. Points are awarded in varying amounts for body blows, head shots, kicks. There is also a system of “perks,” or extras that each robot can obtain based in predefined ways — for example, the “Afro-Tack” robot gets a metal claw after delivering three kicks to its opponent’s head. Points and perks are awarded by the two commentators/judges, Jason Bradbury (host of The Gadget Show) and Julia Hardy. There are also rules about decapitation — if a robot loses its head, it loses the match.
It appears that the robots are built, programmed, and assigned “personalities” entirely by the production team:
Over the next few weeks and months we’ll be hard at it, creating new robot fighters, programming cool new moves & developing our fight formats. Plus, we’re planning battles in cool locations and YouTube celeb guest spots.
In addition to the actual fighting, the videos include a fair bit of “color,” such as footage of a hairdresser pretending to give the “Punch Punk” robot a haircut.
So, this is clearly designed as entertainment, rather than a venue for robot hobbyists. Still, any robot show is a good robot show, in my opinion — judging from the YouTube comments, it’s already introduced the hobby to a number of people who never before knew it existed. If only a handful of kids see this, think it’s cool, and decide to start tinkering and building things, then all the silliness will be worthwhile.
Check out the first match highlights below, and for more, subscribe to the Supa Robot Attack YouTube channel.