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This weekend, the beautiful city of San Francisco will be host to RoboGames 2009, the world's largest open robot competition. Now in its 6th year, the three-day event, which starts on June 12th, attracts hundreds of amateur robot enthusiasts from all over the world.
With 70 different categories ranging from Art to Combat, competitors have plenty to choose from. Within each main category are also several sub-categories. For example in Art they can compete with static bots to musical (the robot must play at least one instrument) to painting (draw two-dimensional pictures).
If that sounds too tame for you head over the to 'Combat Bot' zone, where two robots placed inside areas with steel frames and a bulletproof glass are pitted to battle against each other for a full three minutes. Just as in human boxing matches, the competitors are categorized by weight which, can range from 5.3ozs to 340 pounds. However, unlike human matches, once inside there are no rules - the competitors can bash each other, shoot flames and even use weapons like saw blades or spiked bats.
If the robots cannot be placed in any specific category, they can enter 'Best of Show', where they can do whatever they like, as long as they show some talent. Last year's gold medal winner was a cute cockroach, who impressed the judges with his good looks and amazing dexterity.
No matter which category appeals to you, they all sound like a lot of fun. So if you live anywhere close to the Bay Area, be sure to go check out this event. To find out more, go to: www.robogames.net.