BJ Yebisu/Courtesy Photo

The Japanese Student Association and Innovation Sandbox will host Hebocon, a mock sumo wrestling match for robots, on Sunday, May 22 at 2 p.m. in the Julian A. McPhee University Union (UU) Plaza.

Coming from the Japanese word “heboi,” meaning “poorly made,” and combined with “con,” short for convention, Hebocon is a competition to determine the worst-made robot, according to liberal arts and engineering senior BJ Yebisu.

“The idea of the competition is to promote creativity and get used to failing and making imperfect things,” Yebisu said.

The competition is unlike most professional robot-making competitions because of the high tech penalty.

“If you construct your robot using actual robot techniques, like wire your own motors or use your own circuit board, we will penalize you,” Yebisu said.

Students from every college at Cal Poly will be participating in the competition.

“We have people in bio, art, business and, of course, some engineers too — we have everyone,” Yebisu said.

According to Yebisu, the robot competition will show students that it’s not so much the functionality of an idea at work, but rather making something cool regardless of whether it works.

“You come in with the impression that robots are large and technologically advanced or electronic and powered with a ton of motors and gears — and it’s ironic just seeing something super low tech actually winning a couple of matches,” Yebisu said.

Hebocon is open to the public to participate or observe. Entrance fees to compete are $5 per team. Students are encouraged to enter before May 20.

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