Set aside your fears of SkyNet and Asimovian human enslavement; if they are anything like these, I for one welcome our robot overlords. Bucking the trend of super-smart robot developments, Bacarobo participants seek to build the stupidest, least useful automated machines ever.
Bacarobo, the Stupid Robot Championship, is a showcase for just such robots. The event takes place on 30 October in Budapest, Hungary, and has three main rules: the robots must operate automatically, they must be useless and they must be funny.
The contest originated in Japan – “baka” means “stupid” in Japanese – running in 2007 and 2008 before moving to Hungary in 2010. Entries last year included the Binbot, which attempts to follow a model fly where ever it goes, a hula-hooping bot powered by an electric drill, and a pair of shivering robots that live in a fridge.
While Bacarobo may not be as high-tech as other robotics contests such as the Robocup, which aims to develop robot football players good enough to defeat a human team by 2050, the organisers do hope the event will raise the profile of robotics in Budapest and Europe.
The designer of the winning robot will also receive a €2000 prize.