For those of us who grew up on sci-fi movies and television shows like Forbidden Planet and Lost In Space, the idea of a world full of robots seems like some far-off fantasy. Which is precisely why this weekend’s RoboGames—a three-day event certified by the Guinness Book of World Records as the planet’s largest open robotics competition—seems like such an extraordinary experience.
This six-year-old San Francisco-area geek-fest features the highly imaginative creations of individuals and teams from more than 20 countries, competing in dozens of events ranging from soccer to sumo. The stars of the show, of course, are the battling bots that come in sizes from 5.3 ounces to 340 pounds. But there’s a more civilized side to the event as well, including robots who make music and mix a mean cocktail. There’s even a chance to meet techie celebrities, including MythBusters wiz-kid Grant Imahara.
For an entertaining look at what to expect, check out CNet’s great RoboGames audio slideshow. And if you go, remember to say thanks—or should we say domo arigato—to all the automatons you meet.
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