World Cup robot competition to kick off in Germany

The Robot World Cup, or RoboCup, in which robots play soccer, will open its gates from June 9 to July 9 in Bremen, Germany.

Germany, it appears, can't get enough soccer these days. With one World Cup tournament already under way, another is scheduled to begin Wednesday -- with robots instead of human beings kicking away to score goals.

The Robot World Cup, or RoboCup, will open its gates from June 9 to July 9 in Bremen, Germany.

The decade-old event, drawing 440 teams from 40 countries, offers robotics researchers an opportunity to test their computing systems and skills in competition with international colleagues. Its the brainchild of Japanese scientist Hiroaki Kitano who, in the early 1990s, sought a platform for researchers to challenge each other in the area of artificial intelligence.

Initially, Kitano and his international colleagues considered a competition focused on simulated tasks in nursing or disaster work but because of widely varying requirements for these tasks around the world, the group eventually agreed on soccer with its straightforward rules but fast, unpredictable game play.

The event has given a boost to an area of combined robotics and artificial intelligence research that differs greatly from robotics research aimed at controlled environments such as manufacturing and logistics. Factories and warehouses tend to be adapted around robots designed to carry out repetitive motions, and not the other way around.

Soccer, by comparison, is a real-world situation where players have to work in teams and react to the ball and opposing players. The sport provides a useful way to test models of behavior and motion that change quickly.

The robotic players, which can be on wheels or legs or simulated, must know as exactly as possible where they are at any time, follow the movements of other players and the ball and react to these changing circumstances appropriately, according to Ubbo Visser, a director with the Center for Information Technology in Bremen, which is organizing the RoboCup together with the Bremen Fair Center.

The competition is organized into five leagues: the simulation league, the small-size league, the middle-size league, the Sony legged league and the humanoid league.

The automation of everyday intelligence still presents one of the biggest challenges to researchers, according to Visser. The RoboCup's goal -- and not the one with a net -- is to develop a team of fully autonomous humanoid robots that can play -- and win -- against a human World Cup champion team by 2050.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Blau

IDG News Service
Show Comments





Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?