Cloudrobot hands-on: robot pugilists throw bombs, drop jaws

Cloudrobot hands-on

Cloudrobot is, potentially, the worst name we've ever heard for a product. Thankfully, if this robotic pugilist ever does come to market, we're pretty confident it'll be under a different brand. These fighters are not nearly as cute or pocketable as the Battroborgs that punched their way through the Engadget compound recently. In fact, these guys are down right intimidating. The product of six developers and engineers based out of Budapest, the 16-inch tall bots pack 21 motors, controlled by an AVR chip, that allow them a stunning range of motion and precision. The movements themselves are passed to the bot by a computer, which is currently running a crude simulation / video game. The punches, blocks and footwork are all triggered by a standard gamepad connected via Bluetooth.

Rather than risk serious damage to these expensive machines, their all metal bodies are protected from blows by Everlast-branded boxing gloves. And, in fact, they rarely come in contact with each other (at least in their current form). For now points are counted in the virtual environment, rather than in landed hooks and jabs. Which might not be bad since the bots gain quite a bit of mustard on their shots thanks to electromagnets in their feet that keep them anchored to the ring. Primarily those magnets are for stability, so that the occasional glancing blow doesn't send them toppling over, but it also lets them "sit down" on their punches, just like a real boxer. The company is currently looking for an American partner to help them produce and market the robots. It also has a rather ambitious target price of $300 per combatant, which may have them making some tradeoffs in the final design. The best thing we can do, though, is let Cloudrobot speak for itself, so check out the video after the break.

Edgar Alvarez contributed to this report.