This battling VR robot could give Anthony Joshua a run for his money

Engineer, YouTuber and former Toy Designer, James Bruton has taken the virtual reality experience to a new level  building a battle robot that gives as good as it gets. 

Bruton uploaded the video on May 13 and it has already gained over 40,000 views from people who we can only assume have a lot of pent-up anger and a bone to pick with their Roomba e5.

The robotic punching bag is frankenstein-ed together using wood panels and 3D printed parts, as well as some more unique features, such as foot pumps for extendable pneumatic arms and motorised wheels scavenged from an electric wheelchair to track movement.

The robot dons boxing gloves over its wooden fists “so we don’t hit people in the face with wood” probably a good shout, James. Who needs a gym membership when you can build your own sparring partner?

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The project was built as part of a collaboration with final year Computer Games Technology students at Portsmouth University. The VR headset then takes the robot out of Bruton’s workshop and places it in the immersive battle environment of the game.

Powered by an Arduino Mega interface, the movements of the robot correspond with the animated enemy in the game allowing players armed with only a flimsy foam baseball bat and a shield to really take a punch. HTC Vive trackers planted around the room track the player’s movements and feed that information back into the game so the robot can keep an eye on its target.

Related: Best VR games

If you’re interested in getting absolutely destroyed by 6-foot something robot, you can watch Bruton’s video here to learn how make your own.

The battling robot’s appearance comes just after Facebook launched its new Oculus Quest VR headset. The Oculus Quest is the company’s first attempt to create a stand alone, cable free VR headset. Though it’s not perfect we found a lot to like about it and listed the Oculus Quest as the best VR headset money can buy in our in-depth review.

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