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Bacarobo showcases stupid robots


August 26, 2011

The Bacarobo Stupid Robot Championship is a contest for robots that are funny and useless

The Bacarobo Stupid Robot Championship is a contest for robots that are funny and useless

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Given that there are currently robots that can find trapped miners, swim through rubble and see through walls, it's only natural that some of us humans might feel a little ... inferior, perhaps. Should you be one of those people, it will almost certainly make you feel better if you go to Budapest, and take in the Bacarobo Stupid Robot Championship. The three main rules: robots must operate automatically, they must be funny, and they must be useless.

Bacarobo began in Japan (surprise, surprise) in 2007, but with the help of techy arts group Kitchen Budapest, has since spread to Europe. Last year's competition included robots that sat in a fridge and shivered, projectile vomited, and licked cats - or at least, that were supposed to lick cats. It appears that much of the entertainment value of the event involves watching the robot-makers flounder as their creations refuse to do what they were made for.

Unfortunately for all the dumb-robot-designers who are just hearing about the event, the applications for this year's Bacarobo have already closed. On October 30th, at Budapest's Trafo House of Contemporary Arts, the ten finalists will strut (or perhaps stumble) their stuff on a stage in front of an audience and a panel of judges. The maker of the robot deemed the most stupid will take home a prize of EUR 2,000 (US$2,897).

"Baca," incidentally, means "silly" in Japanese. Who woulda thought?

The video below shows some of the entrants from last year's competition.

Source: New Scientist

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away. All articles by Ben Coxworth

I would like to say for the record, and to our future robot overlords that I played no part in this.

Alan Ross

I don\'t think the future overlords will give a damn.

Page Schorer

The bad news. All the above robots passed the Turing Test as part of the preliminary eliminations. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turing_test

Dave B13
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