Go a few rounds with this kid-sized boxing robot

King of the ring: Naoki Maru's Kizer works on a master-slave controller.

Maru Family )

In Japan’s hobby robot circles, Naoki Maru is a respected name. He has won the Robo-One fighting tournament more times than I can count, and now he has a new version of his legendary pugilist King Kizer.

Maru and his son recently showed off a kid-sized edition of the robot with a new master-slave control system. Inspired by the film “Real Steel,” Maru’s Real King Kizer wowed fans at an Osaka robot festival that wrapped up earlier this week.

Using a Kinect-style Xtion Pro Live sensor, the 3-foot, 2-inch Kizer reproduces the movements of Maru’s son, who controlled the machine while Maru explained how it works.

The Maru team first implemented their master-slave control system on Kizer some years ago and has used it many times to pilot the bruiser to victory in Robo-One bouts.

The latest version, however, frees the pilot from a physical harness thanks to the Xtion sensor, which is a full-body motion-capture system.

Check out in the video below, in which Maru and his son put Kizer through its paces, going toe-to-toe with a punching bag and then practicing with the mitts… [Read more]

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