Teardown: Portland 2018

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May 08, 2018

Hebocon Robot Sumo Call for Participation

Live-action event by Adrian Choy / Friday 7-8PM

Hebocon is a robot fighting competition “for the technically ungifted” where high-tech robots are banned. Robots are usually made from dollar store toys and spare parts and go toe-to-toe in robot sumo. For Teardown participants this will be your chance to embrace your inner crappiness. Resurrect your broken tech into lean, mean, crappy machines and fight for glory!

See below for the official Hebocon rules.


Content of Contest

This is a robot sumo-wrestling competition. It is an arranged version of Japanese sumo wrestling.

Basic Rules

  • The ring is made of plywood roughly 100 cm x 50 cm in size.
  • Both machines start at the same time, from opposing sides. (They do not have to start from the corners.)
  • The robot to exit the ring first loses [A].
  • If a robot falls over, it loses.

The situations below do not count as losses, and therefore the match continues:

  • Any part of the robot that is not in direct contact with the ground sticks out of the ring.
  • The robot breaks (regardless of whether a broken part lands inside or outside of the ring).

Rules for Low-tech

The rules stated hereinafter have been conceived for the purpose of giving even faulty robots the chance of doing well.

  • Exception of [A]: In the case that one robot exits the ring without the two robots ever coming into contact, the match is considered a failure, and therefore a rematch is to be held. (This is a rule to prevent robots with poor steering capabilities and those that move straight ahead at high speeds from being disadvantaged.) However, this rule is to be applied only twice per matchup. From the third time, this rule does not apply.
  • The time limit of each match is to be one minute. In the case that a winner is not decided within the time limit, the robot that has travelled a shorter distance in the ring loses. (This rule is to prevent unmoving objects that are just simply heavy - such as a metal ball or a brick - from being the strongest.)

When the Judging is Difficult

  • If it is difficult to judge the clear winner based on the above rules, then the final result is to be determined by the audience.

Tournament Progression and Prizes

  • The matches are to be held according to the matchups as listed on the knock-out tournament chart.
  • One win earns a contestant ten points.
  • The high-tech penalty rule, as described below, is to be applied per match (six points are deducted per violation per match).
  • The winner of the competition is the contestant who ends up with the most points. (Ordinarily, the contestant who wins the knock-out tournament would be the winner, but in the case that winner had points deducted over the course of the competition, s/he may not end up being the winner of the competition.)
  • The organizer of each Hebocon competition should have some prizes other than the championship ready for robots that are Heboi, which means “technically poor” or “poor in quality”. Such prizes are much more honorable than the championship. Don’t get all caught up on winning, and just enjoy Hebocon.

Machine Specifications

Please participate with a robot that satisfies all the conditions stated below:

  • It is technically poor (please refer to the paragraph below regarding the high-tech penalty rule).
  • It is not equipped with a device that deliberately sets out to destroy opposing machines (such as a moving electric drill).
  • It measures no more than 50 cm across or 50 cm long, and weighs no more than one kilogram. There are no restrictions on height.

High-tech Penalty Rule

In the case that any of the following features on a robot have been achieved through the technical abilities of it’s creator, that creator is to be penalized for demonstrating overly high technical capabilities:

  • Remote controls
  • Automatic controls (controls triggered by information sent by sensors of any kind, measurement of passed time, or measurement of traveled distance, etc.)
  • Anything else the judges may consider as being high-tech
Note: The penalty is to be applied in each match that the high-tech feature concerned is enabled. The penalty is not to be applied in matches where that high-tech feature is not used.
Note: The penalty is not to be applied in the case where there is a high-tech feature on a robot, but not achieved through the technical capabilities of it’s creator. Example: A machine consisting of a ready-made radio-controlled car and a bunny wrapped around it would not be subjected to the penalty, as the creator had nothing to do with the creation of the radio-controlled mechanism.
Note: Even if a robot has high-tech features, if the implementation fails or if it does not work at all, it will not receive a penalty. Example: The robot is supposed to automatically pursue the opponent, but instead it just turns around in place.
Note: Participants will be able to check in advance with the organizer of a particular Hebocon competition whether or not their robot would be considered as being high-tech by the judges.
  • The penalty deducts six points per high-tech feature per match. More points are deducted in the case a robot has multiple high-tech features.

To Wrap Up

So, those are the rules. If you are planning on entering a Hebocon competition, please make sure you read the document titled “What is Hebocon”. Hebocon is not about winning the competition. It is more important to enjoy Heboiness. Don’t worry about winning, and just praise each other’s Heboiness!


Update Info
2015.01.11 Version 1.0 Daiju Ishikawa
2015.01.17 Version 1.1 Daiju Ishikawa, Addition of license indication
2016.09.30 Version 1.2 Daiju Ishikawa, Addition of rules for when the judging is difficult and exception to the high-tech penalty rules.

License Indication

This document is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, PO Box 1866, Mountain View, CA 94042, USA.

See the original rules here. Some minor edits have been made to the original text in this version.

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