CNN News - From Correspondent May Lee
January 20, 1999
YOKOHAMA, Japan (CNN) -- It takes specialized skills
computer chips, wires and wheels into a functioning robot.
Those skills were put on display last weekend at the Robot
Grand Prix in Yokohama, where inventors of all ages gathered
to show off their mechanical creations.
Eighty-six teams of inventors and their mechanical pets
head-to-head in contests that tested efficiency and
One of the main contests was a mechanical joust involving
the robot "Lancer"- a machine that could be the prototype
for a 21st century knight.
The Lancer was judged according to its ability to hit
and knock down cylinders in a race lasting just 100 seconds.
Also on display were some robots programmed to entertain
others that were built to serve.
There was also a serious side to the Robot Grand Prix
team from the Tokyo Technical University showed off the
"People Finder," a device that can look for earthquake
victims buried in rubble. The group also unveiled a moving
floor mat that can help the handicapped move around their
homes with ease.
The machines found at the Robot Grand Prix may be a
from the sophisticated androids in today's science fiction
movies, but when even amateur creative skills produce
machines like these, it may not be long before science
fiction becomes science fact.
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