The 2014 RoboCup will pit robot against robot

The 2014 world robotics championship will see robots gear up for their own World Cup

If you’re going to suffer from withdrawal symptoms when the World Cup ends on 14 July, fret not. You can still have that same excitement and enjoy the beautiful game even after the last match is played.

Just days after the World Cup concludes, Brazil will, yet again, host a global soccer tournament, but this time, there won’t be humans playing on a soccer pitch. Instead, you will find a bunch of robots rivaling each other at the world robotics championship, the 2014 RoboCup, and vying for the grand prize – the Louis Vuitton Cup.

More than 50 robot teams from around the globe will go head-to-head at the games, which will kick off on 19 July in João Pessoa, Brazil, keeping in trend with the World Cup. But there’s much more that goes into the game than just having a bunch of humanoids scuttling around.

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Attention to detail

It takes the effort of about 4000 engineers and scientists from all over the world to make this game happen. For one, a large number of these various shaped and sized “soccer players” are actually 3D printed.

They’re then programmed to play the game independently and remote-free during the course of the six-day competition. And there’s no room for any foul play – they even have to abide by the rules as an actual soccer game, although human referees will be the ones issuing red or yellow cards.  

Of course, the players currently lack the skills (as well as experience, build, and looks) of the likes of Messi or Neymar. But you never know, it might seem farsighted but in some 20 years or so, there could possibly be a robot team good enough to take on the best World Cup teams.

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[Source: Reuters and Smothsonian, image: Reuters]

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