Regular human sports are fine, but there’s going to come a time when mankind is just sick of watching beefy athletes catch stuff, throw stuff, and hit stuff. On that day, we’ll be thankful for the people who developed technology as awesome as these Japanese Sumo robots. After all, this kind of thing is just a few generations removed from something like the Ultimate Robot Fighting stuff in Futurama, so supporting it now might mean we’re more likely to see actual giant robots beating the screws out of each other in 3,000 years or so.
Based on that video, Sumo with robots is a lot like regular Sumo, in that it involves two competitors trying to push each other out of a circle, but the robots have a number of advantages over traditional wrestlers. For one thing, some of them move a lot faster than humans, meaning they can zip around the ring and get behind their opponent in the robot equivalent of a blink of an eye. Also, some of them have ramps or big fans that can flip other robots or cool them with a refreshing breeze (we don’t really get the big fans).
The whole thing is very BattleBots, but unlike that show, most of these robots aren’t being operated by humans. That means when one of the little guys bumps another out of the ring, he’s not doing it because a human master is telling him to, he’s doing it because he wants to. Deep down in that robot’s oily heart is an unquenchable desire to kill that other robot, and that is just frighteningly cool. Don’t believe us? Just watch the victory dance some of them do when they win. Why would a robot do a victory dance if not to celebrate the death of its enemies?
If you’d like to learn more about Sumo robots (and can read Japanese), this seems to be the organization’s official website.