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Copywrite 2001-2004, California Science Center
Media Contact:  Paula Wagner
March 7, 2001
International Robot Sumo Wrestling Competition Returns to the California Science Center
The California Science Center will host an afternoon of challenge and triumph with an International Robot Sumo Wrestling Competition on Saturday, March 31, 2001 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the Creative World exhibition hall. Sponsored by FSIABC, Inc., a major Japanese software developer, robot sumo wrestlers from Japan and Southern California will compete in a ring measuring approximately 5 feet in diameter.

Shoebox-sized robots will operate in two separate categories— autonomous or radio-controlled. Maneuvering the dohyo or robot sumo wrestling ring presents a complex collection of challenges that require greater robotic intelligence and more decisions for competing robots. Autonomous robots are able to sense and make decisions based on the data taken in from the ring, while radio-controlled types respond to directions from their human creators. Unlike the human version of the sport where heavier contestants seem to have the advantage, robot sumo rules limit the weight to no more than 6 pounds. The object is to trick or force the opponent out of the ring.

"The competition in Los Angeles provides a showcase where robot developers not only exhibit their creativity through their designs, but can also test and improve their robot's technical skills," stated a spokesperson for FSIABC. "By holding the tournament at a venue such as the California Science Center, the public can watch and develop a greater appreciation and interest in science as well." The event was held last year at the Science Center and was a rousing success with visitors.

The International Robot Sumo Wrestling Competition is one in a series of Technology Showcase events presented by the California Science Center, designed to share cutting-edge research and technological innovations with Science Center guests.

For further information on FSIABC, contact Chiba Shoten, Inc. by phone at (650) 655-4800; by e-mail at [email protected]; or visit their website at http://www.chibashoten.com/robot/.

The California Science Center is located at 700 State Drive in Exposition Park, Los Angeles. Open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Admission to the exhibits is free. IMAX Theater ticket prices range from $3.75 to $7.50. Parking is $6 per car; enter the lot at 39th and Figueroa streets. The Science Center and IMAX Theater are wheelchair accessible. For general information, phone (323) SCIENCE.

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