Hebocon is a Japanese robot sumo-wrestling competition for people who have no idea how to build robots. Entrants are given one task: to create the crappiest fighting robot they can imagine, and robots are penalized for having any high-tech features. The competition took place last summer, but the video was screened as an entry in the Japanese Media Arts Festival last week.
The results are spectacular, with the 31 entrants building an incredibly diverse range of really, really shitty robots. These include a spinning Barbie doll, “attacking through pole dancing,” a tape recorder that must be tilted down a piece of wood to do anything (it has no other way of moving), a robot that does nothing but bang a packet of ramen flavoring on the ground, and most impressively, a highly unsettling centipede-like robot made from a tissue box, which uses vibrating dildos as legs.
“Winners began attaching parts of foes they’d beaten to ‘carry on the will’ of those knocked out,” the video reads, before one of the beaten contestants yells “Carry on my will!” at an opponent’s dysfunctional robot.
The surprise winner of round one was a little boy whose earnest retro-style robot simply walks forward, miraculously defeating a boxing toy by tipping it over. The winner of the final round was a large, heavy robot that essentially just sits there, which some contestants considered an unfair advantage. Although in a contest like this, one has to wonder, who is the real winner? We think it might be the woman who left her robot on the train and went and got a beer instead. “The crowd praised this act of supreme crappiness,” the video tells us.
[h/t: Prosthetic Knowledge]