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Robot Sumo Wrestling Tournament Hosted by UCR March 25

Robot Sumo Wrestling Tournament Hosted by UCR March 25

(March 24, 1999)

A demonstration sumo wrestling tournament featuring shoebox-sized robots will be hosted by the University of California, Riverside from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, March 25, in the UCR gymnasium. Members of the news media are invited to attend and cover the event featuring about a dozen teams of engineers from Japan and the Bay Area.

Robot wrestlers adhere to many of the same rules as the traditional sport of sumo wrestling. The object is to push the opposing robot out of the 6-foot ring or flip it over. Unlike the human version of the sport, where the most hefty competitors seem to have the advantage, robot sumo rules limit the weight and size of robots. They must weight no more than 6.6 pounds and fit inside an 8-inch-square box with no top. The robots are controlled remotely by their human designers and builders.

Time/Date: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, March 25

Location: Physical education gymnasium on the UCR campus, 900 University Ave., Riverside

Background: Sumo wrestling is one of the most popular sports in Japan, and the robot version is also a serious undertaking. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the All-Japan Robot Sumo Tournament, sponsored by Fuji Soft ABC Inc. Teams are visiting the U.S. next week to demonstrate their sport in the Bay Area and in Riverside. The March 25 tournament is hosted by the UCR engineering college.

UCR engineering students in 1991 became the first competitors from outside Japan to enter the contest. UCR students do not have an entry in the March 25 demonstration tournament, but are currently designing robots for a future run at the All-Japan Robot Sumo Tournament.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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