Robot Combat

Hebocon is the most ridiculous bot fighting you’ll ever see

Hebocon Japan Competing Weird Bot
credit: hebocon facebook

Originally from Japan, Hebocon is the “robot contest for the technically ungifted.” And now it’s found a home in the United States.

The first Hebocon took place in July of 2014 in Tokyo with 31 shitty bots competing. It’s a sumo-bot style event where two competing bots try to shove each other out of a ring.

But this is not another BattleBots where smashing your opponents to pieces is cheered. At Hebocon the goal is to make the absolute worst robot. Traditionally, the final champion actually apologize for their win.

Crowds in Tokyo went wild for robots that can barely move, inching close to each before being pushed over, or pushed out of the ring. Or just falling over on their own. One of the favorite competitors was a robot that was lost on the train and never showed up. Another just shakes powdered soup.

But really weird robots is expected of Japan. Can America compete for the title of World’s Worst Robots? Syn Shop in Las Vegas, Nevada thinks so.

For the past two years they’ve hosted a Hebocon of their own. The latest happened April 2nd this year. Their event rules include “Robots should be as simple as possible,” and points could be deducted for anything that might be “technologically advanced.” But points could also be added by “popular opinion at end of competition for unique or awesome robots.” Hoping for some unique points, one of the competitors this year brought a bot made mostly with meat – sausages to be exact.

So now addition to a giant mech US vs Japan battle we have a US kielbasa vs Japanese dildo box battle. I’m not complaining. And more countries are getting into the mix. Athens, Greece is hosting a Hebocon this weekend. It’s a very different type of competition for the home of the original Olympics.

There is a noble spirit somewhere within the crap. As one of the original Japanese organizers put it, “There is more than one way to enjoy making something. You can fail and make something rubbish and still enjoy it.”


Hebocon 2014: Tokyo
Hebocon 2015: Tokyo
Hebocon 2015: Las Vegas
Hebocon 2016: Las Vegas

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