Kazakhstani e-learning company Qmobot has partnered with Nazarbayev University to create SumoBot, a tournament designed to promote sport robotics among students.
It has been developed by Qmobot CEO Bauyrzhan Ospan, who studied a B.A.Sc. in mechatronics, robotics, and automation engineering at Nazarbayev University
Teams compete for cash prizes and the opportunity to represent their university in the Republican Champion Finals; a country-level SumoBot tournament.
They receive a month’s training from professional roboticists on how to develop an algorithm for their robot, which will allow their robot to move on its own without remote control.
The robots then duel each other and attempt to push their opponent out of the arena ring, like in an actual Sumo fight.
“Robotics competitions have sufficient requirements to be defined as a sport; physical and mental commitment, constant training, and the adherence to certain rules,” said Bauyrzhan.
“They also improve skills and provide entertainment. There are already many famous international robotics competitions, including World Robot Olympiad, RoboRAVE International, and the RoboGames, which involve soccer, racing, and combat-sport.
“Human health and safety are priceless, which puts huge limitations on what a sport competitor can perform without harmful consequences: we want to participate in and observe physically strenuous sports, without the risk of physical harm.
“Robots, on the other hand, do not have such limitations and can participate and perform in ways humans can’t.”