Tuesday, December 30, 2014

How to Fight a Robot: What have you gotten yourself into?


Earlier this year, I began building a full-sized humanoid robot, following the InMoov design, because I wanted to build a robotic sparring partner.  I wanted him to swing an eskrima stick at me, throw a punch at me, and even do some blocking drills.  I wanted to fight a robot.

Unfortunately, he sucks at fighting.  There is a very long list of necessary modifications before he could even throw a single punch that lands with impact, and not fall apart immediately.  Changing this robot is just not worth the effort at this point.  Instead, I have begun designing my own fighting robot from scratch.

The point is, robots are not very good at fighting in general.  With the help of a few key insights, a human could easily dominate a robot opponent in a fight.  You will probably never find yourself in a situation where you need to defend yourself against a robot in hand-to-hand combat, but just for fun, I will walk you (a human) through what it takes to fight a robot and win.