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Japan's Autonomous Robot Fighting League Is Cute and Terrifying

Hey cutie pie, want to kill all humans?


This article was originally posted on Outer Places.

We all love a good robot fight. But for those who aren't that interested in gigantic, car-crushing robots facing off in an international grudge match, there is an alternative: the ROBO-ONE Auto tournament, held at the end of February in Japan. The tournament allows competitors to enter their own miniature boxing robots that fight in matches that range from hilarious to awesome. But here's the thing: there's no one controlling them.

Competitors are unable to issue commands or instructions to their robots once they enter the ring—instead, each robot analyzes its opponent and the terrain before making a calculated decision on to how to attack. At times, this leads to some unexpected programming quirks, but that just makes the fights all the more interesting to watch. Check out the highlights:

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Despite their adorable size, these machines represent fantastic advances in artificial intelligence, as hobbyists demonstrate their ability to program small robots that can think and strategize all by themselves. Those who are worried about the danger that such robots pose to humanity can hopefully take solace in the fact that, at present, these machines are still tiny, but it doesn't change the fact that we're dealing with mini-Terminators.

As AI technology develops, programmers, hobbyists, and hopefully one day, casual users will be able to tailor robot programming to suit their needs, coming up with a wide range of new uses for machines that can think and reason by themselves. You know, like Westworld.

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Featured photo via Misumi, Robo-ONE