China’s latest obsession: Watching robots fight
Remember BattleBots? First seen on Comedy Central in 2000 and revived this spring by Discovery Channel, the reality show featured elaborately-armed homemade robots fighting each other to the death.
Nearly two decades later, combat robots are now making a splash in China. A 12-episode online series called Clash Bots debuted on Baidu’s video streaming site iQiyi on March 29.
Another show -- King of Bots, which debuted on Zhejiang TV in January -- showed more of the actual competition, with robots spinning around furiously, driving blades into each other, while trying to avoid traps laid across a bulletproof arena. It consistently ranked within the top three variety shows in dozens of provinces when it ran earlier this year.
One thing that stood out for me about Clash Bots was that despite the amazing technology we have today, fighting robots still look pretty much the same as they did when BattleBots first came out.
But there is one exception: This robot from King of Bots really stands out.