Robotics competitions are a lot of fun. So much so, that we've dedicated an entire show to them. But, building a competition-ready robot from scratch is not possible for everyone. That's why pre-built machines and kits are available. One of the most impressive kits that we've ever encountered is from Chinese company GJS Robot.
These machines, known as Ganker, are impressive for a number of reasons. The first is its control system. Rather than having a traditional controller to make them move, it looks and functions more like fingers. You put your hands into the controls and your motions are translated fairly directly into the motion of the robot. This direct translation makes it really easy to learn. Todd took to the controls like a fish to water.
Another thing he learned was just how maneuverable these robots truly are. He touched the controller and it leaped forward, nearly launching off of the table. He then was able to make it move far slower within moments. This showed us the range of speeds that the Ganker is capable of.
But competitions are not all about speed - they require a way to compete. These robots are able to be customized with various "weapons," but unlike something like BattleBots, these are not intended to destroy or incapacitate one another. Instead, the game is played more along the lines of a karate competition. There are sensors throughout the body that, when triggered, score points for the opposing robot. Score enough points and you win the match, while both competitors live to fight another day.
The GJS Robot Ganker is available now for $499, while its smaller companion, the Geio, is available for $199. You can learn more about the products from the company's Amazon store or their official website.
Scott is a developer who has worked on projects of varying sizes, including all of the PLuGHiTz Corporation properties. He is also known in the gaming world for his time supporting the DDR community, through DDRLover and hosting tournaments throughout the Tampa Bar Area. Currently, when he is not working on software projects or hosting F5 Live: Refreshing Technology, Scott can often be found returning to his high school days working with the Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), mentoring teams and judging engineering notebooks at competitions. He has also helped found a student software learning group, the ASCII Warriors.