Students at KAIST and Yonsei University in South Korea have created
a robot called Mung that they hope will instill the spirit of sportsmanship
in players at events like the World Cup 2010. Mung was originally
conceived as a “language purification” robot which would change color
upon detecting profanities in elementary schools and at home — similar
to the idea of a “swear jar” only without the monetary penalty. It was
also used to promote the clean and safe use of nuclear energy.
Image credit: HelloDD
Do you love robots? Do you love destruction? Are you
tired of the same old robot competitions? SparkFun has just
the thing for you: the SparkFun Antimov competition. Based
on Isaac Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics, this competition
challenges you to design a robot which breaks the laws of
robotics (well, except for hurting humans, of course). A robot
is traditionally designed to perform a complex task as
efficiently as possible. Building a competent and efficient robot
that completes its task unharmed is so last year, according to
SparkFun wants you to build a robot that completes a
trivial task in the most inefficient and laborious way possible.
Oh, and it needs to destroy itself doing so.
This competition focuses less on engineering abilities and
more on creative ingenuity.
There is a $300 cash first prize, but this event is definitely
more about the glory.
This is an incomplete list of the rules and is subject to
1. Robot must be autonomous. The only external control
is a required kill switch which can be wired, but if so,
must prove to not be a control mechanism.
2. Robot must complete at least one task performed
upon an object external to itself.
3. Robot must destroy itself after the completion of the
task in Rule 2.
4. Robot may use any prop, structure, or external device
that can be placed in and removed from the exposition
area. It can also use any of the existing features in the
5. Robot cannot violate Asimov's first law, i.e., no hurting
humans, and must have a reliable kill switch if
something goes more wrong than intended.
6. Robots will be given three chances to complete their
performance. If at any point during the performance
the designer wishes to stop the robot, she/he can do
so without penalty, up until the third run.
Scoring: Scoring will be based on a set of four criteria,
listed below. Each category is 25 points for a possible total of
1. Inefficiency (0-25 points) - the inefficiency of the initial
task. The more complicated and inefficient, the higher
2. Pointlessness (0-25 points) - the pointlessness of the
performed task. The more trivial the task, the higher
3. Drama (0-25) points) - the dramatic element to the
robot's self-destruction. The more poetic, creative, and
dramatic the death, the higher the score.
4. Destruction (0-25 points) - the completeness of the
robot's self-destruction. The more in-operable and
devastated the robot is at the end of its performance,
the higher the score.
Prohibited Items: This is a partial list only. Each applicant
will be required to send in a project proposal for review by a
third party safety panel. If the delivered project is not as safe
or safer than the proposed project, the competitor will be
disqualified. SparkFun reserves the right to prohibit any item
or items it feels will compromise the safety of the
competition, its participants, or spectators.
This event is slated for October 16th, 2010. Go to
SparkFun.com for more details and updates.
26 SERVO 08.2010