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It’s a safe bet to say most, if not all of our FuturePlay News readers would be familiar, or perhaps be die-hard fans of the Transformers franchise. In this article, we take a look at just how close this piece of fiction is to reality. That’s right, reality!

BIPEDAL ROBOTS

Put simply, a Bipedal Robot is one that has two legs, which in doing so often gives this type of robot a more humanistic look and feel. Bipedal Robots are often the ones used to depict Robot on Robot combat in popular movies and television series, due to their familiarity and human traits. But one robot promotion has taken giant steps in not only producing but also broadcasting these robot fights worldwide…

ROBO-ONE

Like many Machina Sports, the Robo-One promotion comes from Japan.. They held their first event back in 2002, the promotion has seen expansion into South Korea and unofficially part-takes in events held in the USA. The headline events for the promotion take place twice a year and are called ‘ROBO-ONE.’ However, due to the growing popularity and worldwide interest, they have expanded into regional tournaments with slightly different rule sets, conditions, and specifications of the robots being used.

THE BATTLES !

Simply writing about the ROBO-ONE’s battles doesn’t do it justice. It’s best to head over to ROBO-ONE’s Youtube and Social Media channels after you read this article to check them out for yourselves. We have no doubt you’ll be saying to yourself, ‘How have I never heard of this!'”

That said, let’s try our best to describe the action. 

Two Bipedal Robots face off on a flat surface, each brandishing their own weapons or traits that the engineers believe will see them through the match, victorious! Each robot is about 40cm / 15 inches in height, and is pitted against the other. 

As the action takes place, each robot looks to strike, push, or unbalance their opponent. After a fall, the opponent will give their competitor a chance to regroup and rise from the surface, and if it’s able to do so the battle continues. Overlooking the action are certified judges who at the end of the allocated time will announce the winner by raising either a Red or White Flag. 

Should one of the competitors be unable to rise from damage sustained during the action, well, you guess it, the last robot standing is declared the winner.

Typerion Robo-One Champion

TYPERION

This past September, the 42nd ROBO-ONE tournament was held at the Kanagawa Centre in Japan. Typerion, a 40cm / 4KG robot, was victorious, beating Hard Lux in the final of the event.

The Nijigasaki Robotics Club who built Typerion for the event are looking forward to future events and taking Typerion to the next level.

FINAL THOUGHTS

As we alluded to in the headline, ROBO-ONE might just be the coolest event that you’ve never heard of, and FuturePlay news will be there to support the promotion in goals to take Bipedal Robot fighting.

Sport Enthusiast, Builder of brands, and proud founder of Machina Sports, dedicated to pioneering the fusion of human athleticism with cutting-edge technology. Committed to creating a global platform and brand that celebrates the excitement and innovation inherent in Machina Sports while engaging a diverse community of enthusiasts and athletes worldwide.

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Drone

The Future of Racing: Beyond Wheels and Into the Skies

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How flying cars and jet suit racing are redefining the boundaries of sports.

In a world obsessed with speed, the race track has long been a battleground for the most audacious of dreamers. 

It’s where innovation meets adrenaline, where the sound of engines and the screech of tires on asphalt have defined generations of speed fans. 

But as we stand on the brink of a new era, the race track is no longer confined to the limitations of the ground. We are entering an age where the sky becomes the ultimate racing frontier, and the boundaries of sports are being redefined right before our eyes.

Believe it or not — we already have a virtual reality gates for the flying cars. 

Growing up, I was mesmerised by speed. The faster, the better. Cars, bikes, rollerblades — if it could move, I wanted to see how fast it could go. Yet, even in my wildest dreams, flying cars were a fantasy reserved for superheroes and sci-fi movies. 

Little did I know, the future of racing was quietly brewing, not in the pages of comic books, but within the labs and minds of engineers and visionaries around the world.

And I was a part of it. — Lexie Janson, a flying car racing pilot

Lexie Janson (racing pilot) and her flying car.

When Dreams Take Flight

The pursuit of flying cars has long captured the human imagination. It’s a symbol of our desire to break free, to defy the very laws of nature that have bound us. But what once seemed like a distant dream is now palpably close. 

Companies around the globe are developing flying cars, not just as luxurious gimmicks, but as the next big thing in personal transport and, more importantly, in racing.

Imagine cities hosting grand prix events not on closed circuits, but above them, with flying cars racing between skyscrapers, iconic landmarks, and down the riverbeds. 

And of course — crashing, which is a way less desirable part of it. 

Maybe let’s skip landmarks and historically important spots. 

The skillset for pilots in this new era goes beyond steering and braking. It is a mix of jet fighter pilot and Formula 1 driver. It’s about surviving the G-forces, creating a strategy for 3D circumstances and quick reaction times (especially if another pilot comes from above or below). 

Jet suit racing (Iron Man!?)

If flying cars promise to redefine racing on a macro scale, jet suit racing touches upon the individual’s quest for speed (and nerdy dreams of becoming an Iron Man)

Picture this: racers dressed in jet suits, lifting off from the ground, powered by the sheer force of technology strapped to their backs and hands. This sport requires an extreme core balance and body control strength. One missed move may mean crashing or spinning uncontrollably. 

“Oh, this is still an imagination,” you may say. But it’s not. It’s real:

CHeck out our vlog from the Gravity.co test flight vlog

In February 2024, Dubai, UAE — Gravity.co has conducted the first jetsuit race in the world. In this historical event 8 pilots have been fighting for the title of the first champion. The event had it all: crash into the water, disqualification, a pilot “losing it” and extreme circumstances. 

The final race lasted 90 seconds.

Its winner — Issa Kalfon has left his name on the pages of history for ever. An ex-gymnast claims that his past career path was one of the deciding factors in his training and win. Because machina sports are not just about the machines. It’s about human and the machine. 

Jet suit racing isn’t just about who crosses the finish line first; it’s a testament to human ambition and ingenuity. Each race pushes the boundaries of what’s possible, challenging pilots to outmanoeuvre their opponents while maintaining control over their high-powered suits. 

It’s exciting, nerve-wracking and extreme.

But Gravity.co is not only about racing. Their jetsuit is also created to help medics get to their patients in less favourable spots, transportation and military use. 

Gravity.co Dubai Race promotional picture

FPV Drone Racing — Esports and athletes

But not all the new sports require athletes to get into any type of a suit. FPV Drone racing is a discipline that connects esports with athletic abilities. 

As esports players get their time in the gym for reaction times, cardio, and general health — FPV Pilots need to do the same to withstand the stress and pressure during their races. 

It’s not all about the drones that one can buy in the store. It’s mostly self-built racing drones that can fly with a speed of 200km/h. 

FPV Racing Drone during MultiGP Sharjah event (owned photo)

During an FPV Race 4–8 pilots fly the FPV Drones through an obstacle track. Pilots see what their drones see in real time through FPV Goggles, and control them via an RC controller. 

Pilots often experience midair collisions, crashes, and exciting chases throughgout the race. But is it a spectator sport? Yes! In the recent event MultiGP Sharjah — FPV Drone Racing has reached a brand new level of spectator-friendly event. The audience could see what the pilots saw on the screens, but also “line of sight”. And the view? Easy to understand, and pretty exciting. If you are interested in more visuals — check out our vlog.

Long-exposure picture of the race in Sharjah (owned)

The Evolution of the Spectator

The sports as we know them haven’t changed much in the last decades, as the human bodies have limited capabilities. This is why machina sports are popping here and there showing that human and the machine mean even more excitement and a new, fresh outlook on sports and athletes. 

As racing seems to take to the skies, so too must our conception of spectatorship evolve. Traditional racetracks may transform into multi-dimensional arenas, offering views from below, above, and all around.

Can you imagine!?

Lexie Janson and her flying car (licensed photo)

Fans might follow races through augmented reality interfaces, experiencing the flight from the perspective of their favourite pilots. With the virtual reality tracks — the world becomes a stage, turning spectators into an integral part of the racing narrative.

And I guess we are all here for it. 

Embracing the Future

The migration of racing from wheels to the skies is more than an evolution in sports; it’s reimagining of human potential. 

Picture cyborgs…

In this era of air racing, every pilot’s journey, every race, every breathtaking moment reminds us of our collective drive to break barriers and explore new horizons.

As a child, I could only dream of such marvels. Yet, as we stand on the cliff of this thrilling future, it’s clear that those dreams weren’t just flights of fancy (pun intended). 

They were visions of what was to come. 

The future of racing is here, and it’s inviting us to look upwards, to the skies where the next chapter of human achievement is waiting to unfold (and entertain).


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Drone

How Women’s representation in FPV shapes the scene

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KalliFPV’s Journey in the Drone Racing World

But is it? 

It was representation and passion that got KalliFPV into FPV Drone Racing, a\nd her ascent in the drone racing world is more than just a personal triumph; it’s a beacon for diversity and inclusion in a space where both are urgently needed.

A Sky Without Limits

Kalli’s journey isn’t just a story of overcoming odds; it’s a narrative that mirrors the ongoing evolution in STEM — a field continuously enriched by the diverse perspectives women bring. Her path from curiosity to competitive racing sums up a broader truth: when given the opportunity, women not only participate but excel and innovate.

Her inspiration? A blend of familial bonds and a natural inclination towards the mechanics of flight. Initially drawn to the sport by her father’s own passion, Kalli quickly transitioned from an observer to a key player.

“Back in 2022…I was like, dad, I really want to get into flying,” 

Kalli recounted, reflecting on the moment her journey took flight in a FuturePlay Interview. It’s a testament to the power of mentorship and representation. Seeing someone you identify with succeeding can sometimes be all the push you need to get on a similar path.

The Simulator as a Springboard

Kalli’s rigorous dedication to mastering her craft through simulators — a digital proving ground where countless hours are spent refining skills — highlights an essential message about the importance of accessible resources in fostering talent. 

“Most of my practicing I did on simulators. I practiced at least five hours a week,” she shared. 

This statement not only showcases her dedication but also underlines the role of technology in democratising fields like drone racing, making them more accessible to diverse groups.

Breaking Barriers and Building Community

Kalli’s decision to join the all-girls team Mach1 is a vibrant illustration of the changing landscape of drone racing — a world becoming increasingly inclusive. 

“Of course, an all-girls team, of course, I’ll join it,” 

She enthusiastically remarked, underlining the significance of finding a community where she felt represented and supported. Here, Kalli’s narrative intertwines with the larger discourse on the importance of community in breaking down barriers and fostering a sense of belonging.

A New Horizon

KalliFPV is more than a competitor; she’s a symbol of change in the aerial arenas of drone racing and beyond. Her story is a powerful reminder that with passion, mentorship, and access to the right resources, the sky is not the limit but the beginning.

In sharing KalliFPV’s journey, we not only celebrate her achievements but also ignite a conversation about the future of women in STEM and sports. It’s a discussion about the potential that lies in empowering young women to explore, to create, and to dream without limits.

As KalliFPV continues to fly, her content serves as an inspiration — to young girls who look up at the sky and see not a limit, but a vast expanse of possibilities. It’s a call to the community, to mentors, and to organisations to invest in these dreams, to nurture these ambitions, and to watch as they take flight, transforming our world in the process.

What are your thoughts about the representation in sports and scientific fields? 
If you want to watch the entire interview with Kalli – be sure to follow us on YouTube

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Athletes meet Technology — Machina Sports

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Humans as a species are reaching the peak of what we can physically do.

Many of the world records in athletics have been broken more than 10 or even 20 years ago (with obvious exemptions). The sports that we are watching today haven’t really changed in decades. Many of the team sports started to be more of a mind game than an athletic achievement. But is there anything new that we can get excited about?

Yes, a whole range of Machina Sports.

What on earth is that?

Simply put Machina Sports are all types of sports that include a human and a machine. 

In a more detailed explanation: Machina Sports are the disciplines that combine the power of athletes and their machines into a brand new category of sport. Examples? FPV Drone Racing, Jetsuit racing, Autonomous car racing, Robot Wars, Flying Car Racing, and more. Many of those sports include athletes that need to push the boundaries of what is physically possible, with an extension of their athletic capabilities (drones, a flying car, jetsuit, and more). 

Those athletes create new categories of sport and become the trailblazers of the future athletes. 

Human meets Tech — but how is this athletic?

We are not talking about esports here.

Let’s look at an example of Jetsuit Racing: The First In The World Jetsuit Racing Champion — Issa Kalfon used to be a gymnast. While gymnastics are considered “a normal sport” the fact that his body was capable of performing within the requirements set by the Gravity.co owner were the deciding factor on his involvement with the project in the first place. 

We tried the Jetsuit — it was hard (here’s a video you can laugh at)

Flying one of those machines requires enormous core strength, arm and shoulder strength, and precise control over small muscle movements. Athletic capabilities connected with an extension of one’s body — the jetsuit itself. The race changes from an athletic power only into athletic power and machine’s possibilities. 

Now isn’t that exciting?

Let’s add some drama to the mix…

When we watch athletes struggle to take the win in single sports — it’s all up to them.

When we watch athletes in team sports — the most drama we can get is what happens between the athletes.

In Machina sports we watch athletes fighting themselves, their opponents, and their own machines. 

Things don’t always go as planned. During The First Jetsuit Race in Dubai one of the pilots experienced an engine failure and ended up in the water. In FPV Drone Racing midair collision, as well as gear failures and crashes happen constantly. In Flying Car Racing the athletes fight their machines that sometimes become moody (as experimental aircraft usually does). This adds an extra layer of drama and stress on the athletes, that get onto a full rollercoaster of emotions during each of the races.

And more fun to the viewers. 

It takes a special kind of “crazy” to get into Machina Sports

People like watching other people — this is why we have social media. 

It takes a special kind of an athlete to get into any type of the raising Machina Sports category. People, who aim for more and want to be pioneers of the new sports, which obviously means “to deal with all the problems associated with it”. 

While most of the Machina sports are not yet considered “Mainstream” — FPV Drone Racing starts to take their leading position in the queue of greatness. Thanks to leagues such as MultiGP, Drone Champions League, and Drone Racing League, this perfect mix of esports and racing has been taking its rightfull place among the biggest sporting events all around the world. Including the world games. 

And the athletes are not bothered by constant drone repairs. 

Isn’t that crazy? 

Have you ever heard of Machina Sports? And after reading this article — which one is your favourite? Let us know in the comments, and don’t forget to leave us a follow if you want to learn more about Machina Sports and the athletes involved!

Thanks for reading 🙂

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