Earlier this year, two massive mega bots battled it out in one of the most anticipated, expensive robotics events in recent history. Years of development and engineering were on display as giant robots piloted by humans duked it out on the internet. It was most likely an experience battle bot civilians like you and me will never experience.
Now, however, fighting a robot war inside a mech warrior is possible thanks to Chinese-based company GJS Robot.
GJS Robot has been producing affordable functional battle bots since 2016. Its first fighting robot was Ganker, a fast and nimble bot that does battle with a large sword.
Ganker, currently available for $399 at Ganker Robot and other robotics retailers, is controlled via a smartphone app and has sensors throughout its body that can detect when it's been struck by an enemy robot. The scoring system tracks each time the robots make contact and awards points accordingly. The app also has buttons for preset fighting stances and attack moves.
The robot gets around fast on omni-directional wheels and is customizable with different weapons like a large ax and robot parts, such as a mountable POV camera for FPV fighting. (POV stands for "point of view, while FPV means "first person view.") Ganker is popular in robot-fighting tournaments around the world because of its rugged frame and high speeds.
A few weeks ago, GJS Robot announced GEIO, a first-person-shooter battle bot with visual recognition. It can see with its onboard camera and resembles an FPS game with the choice of FPV.
GEIO connects through an app and transmits what it sees to your phone.The screen displays a head-up display from the robot's point of view, allowing you to chase and target other GEIO bots in the battle.
You can fire up to 100 rounds of virtual bullets before you'll need to reload. When you get hit by another GEIO robot, your phone vibrates just like an FPS video game, adding to the excitement and tension. As you get hit by your opponent, your health bar decreases until eventually it's game over for one of the battle bots. GEIO is currently available for $200.
GEIO can track and target enemies on its own thanks to AI technology similar to that being used in some self-driving cars. It also uses totems, which are simply a cardboard box with designs printed on the sides. The bot can scan these totems to unlock different weapons in the game that can then be used to freeze the enemy or decelerate its speed. The totems can also be used for different game settings like scavenger hunt or robot race.
The robot gets about 40 minutes on a full charge and it's easy to pair with a phone.
GJS Robot is working on peripherals like an exoskeleton suit and power gloves for Ganker so you can control the robot with your own body. It's also developing VR goggles for GEIO so you can play inside from the FPV much like the FPV drone-racing leagues we've seen the past few years.
The idea of being inside one of these robots doing battle sounds like a ton of fun, and I look forward to the gaming potential these robots bring to the gaming industry and robotics development.
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