Bryan ClarkFormer Managing Editor, TNW
Bryan is a freelance journalist. Bryan is a freelance journalist.
Sumo wrestling features two gigantic humans sweating, grunting and trying to push each other out of a small-ish circle. The traditional Japanese sport is amazing to watch, but it’s a hard sell when trying to describe. Add the traditional attire, the ‘mawashi,’ which is essentially a giant diaper that never gets washed (sumo wrestlers believe you can wash away experience) and you’ll start to see a problem when trying to un-ironically recruit friends to watch a match.
Take the same strategy and apply it to spastic little robots and it becomes must-watch television.
Unlike BattleBots — where robots are led into battle by human nerds with controllers — these spazzy little robots are entirely automated. They’re also ingeniously crafted with extending arms, battering rams, mechanical lifts and clever artificial intelligence. The robotic element adds speed and artificial intelligence to an already beautiful sport.
What you won’t see in these bouts, however, is destruction — at least not total destruction. Much like sumo itself, this sport isn’t about pounding your opponent in submission, but forcefully guiding them out of the ring.
It’s the perfect juxtaposition of traditional and modern and it’s really a blast to watch.
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