This is another research avenue that I see for the DARwIn-OP. I have been thinking about this ever since I got a first-hand look at the DARwIn-OP in Nashville, Tennessee during Humanoids 2010!
The rules would be based on the existing Kung-Fu rules. Three minute matches and one point per knock down. The robot with the most points at the end of the match wins. The change will be that the robot will be fully autonomous with no outside input, human or computer!
Humanoid soccer (Robocup) is a cool sport and it helps push robotic advances but we need more competition types to increase development of autonomous robots. I think that autonomous Kung-Fu would be a great addition to this effort. Why we are on this subject why not have an autonomous robot Olympics every year?
My dream idea for autonomous Kung-Fu is to have matches at the larger Maker Faire events such as San Francisco, Kansas City, Detroit and New York. I think these events will encourage more involvement in robotic research and advancement. It will also expose more people to robotic competitions and help encourage young people to study in the field of robotics. I would also like to increase the pool of research participants to not just schools but Hackerspaces too. The big question with the DARwIn-OP is how can we get this very cool OP platform in the hands of more researchers!