What is minisumo?
Don't expect here for an "official" definition, Google can find one for you here or here or on many other sites on the web.
Minisumo is a very nice, non-destructive robot combat game. It involves two small autonomous robots and a ring (dohyo). The goal of each robot is to push the opponent out of the ring. For the beauty of the game, there are some restrictions and the most important of them, in my opinion, are:
1) the length and the width of the robot should not exceed 10cm; there is no restriction for the height
2) the weight of the robot should not exceed 0.5kg
3) the robot must not have weapons; it is not allowed to produce damages to the opponent, except the one coming from the brute pushing force
4) the robot must not disintegrate during the game
5) the robot must be fully autonomous; no remote control (by IR, radio, wires) is allowed
First of all, I think this is a matter of taste...I donít really know why, but I have always been attracted by miniatures (small animals, small toys, small devices, etc).
I find the requirements for a minisumo robot to be a very interesting challenge. At the first sight, they may appear to be contradictory: it should be a powerful robot while it must meet severe size and weight restrictions. But this is only at the first sight! I guess that minisumo rules open a large door for a lot of creativeness and inventiveness and force the robot to be more ďcleverĒ than strong. And this is where the fun begins! Build up a smart little toy, put inside it as much as you want from your cleverness and ability, then stay and watch how it behaves...
And there is one more important reason. A minisumo robot is home made-able and fairly cheap (of course, one can make it very complex & expensive and spend a fortune to construct it, if he wants to). This is very important for me because Iím a kind of practical-minded man. In my opinion, minisumo itís a very good entry point in robotics due to its moderate complexity and relatively easiness of building. To build my first minisumo robot I didnít need complex tools. Just screws, nuts, wires, screwdriver, common tools to make a PCB and nothing special.