The first International Robot Games, or ROBOlympics, organized by the Robotics Society of America, will take place on March 20th and 21st, 2004 in San Francisco, California. There will be competition for combat and non-combat robots, a World Cup Soccer game, and even a robo-triathlon. More than 400 robots are registered for this robotics competition.

It sounds like any Olympic competition: there will be glory, heartbreak and casualties, and only the best of the best will scoop gold.

But the contestants in this showdown are not built from flesh and blood, nor are they aiming for glory in Athens: they are metal and silicon, and are heading for the world’s first Robolympics in San Francisco this weekend.

Like the human version, the Robolympics will put its contestants through a variety of gruelling events, from robot sumo to robot soccer. There is even a robo-triathlon, in which automatons scramble to be first on legs, on wheels and across water.

Artificial intelligence researchers and robotics buffs already have regular competitions, but these often feature just one sport. The Robolympics will be the first mega-competition for those in the game, explains David Calkins, games founder and president of the Robotics Society of America.

More here.