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Copywrite 2001-2004, California Science Center
Media Contact:  Paula Wagner
March 14, 2002
International Robot Sumo Wrestling Returns to the California Science Center
Two contestants get ready to rumble at the Robot Sumo Wrestling Competition

LOS ANGELES - An afternoon of challenge and triumph returns to the California Science Center with the 4th annual International Robot Sumo Wrestling Competition Saturday, March 23, 2002 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the Creative World gallery. The event is sponsored by Fuji Soft ABC, Inc., a major Japanese software developer and features competitors from Japan and the western United States.

Shoebox sized robots will operate in two separate categories - autonomous or radio-controlled. Maneuvering the dohyo or ring, which measures approximately 5 feet in diameter, 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.

Visitors can watch the competition, cheer for robots with names such as "Beast," "Squeegee," or "Go Ahead," and selected members of the audience can even test their strength against one of the 6-pound robots during a demonstration of robot capabilities. The International Robot Sumo Competition is one in a series of Technology Showcase events presented by the California Science Center, designed to present current science and technology to the public.

For further information on Fuji Soft ABC, Inc., 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 a.m. to 5 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 or visit our web site at www.casciencectr.org.

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