The "RoboCup" is an international robotics competition that began at the Workshop on Grand Challenges in Artificial Intelligence in Japan, not only to bring public attention to robotics but to serve as a challenge to those who design these robots to compete in one of the most complex human sports.
This year, more than 23 countries will put their robots to the test. Held at the Palacio de Minería in Mexico City from the 18th to the 24th of June, robots at the event will also participate in maze navigation, domestic tasks, dancing and simulated disaster rescues. The "RoboCup Junior" gives a chance for students 19 years of age or younger to develop their technical abilities and be a part of an international exchange program type experience.
At the launch event on December 8th, Jesús Savage, president of the Mexican Federation of Robotics who also serves as a member of the organizing committee for this year's RoboCup, spoke about the aim of the Robot Soccer World Cup.
The goal of the event has an objective and a specific time period: By mid-century we're looking to have a team of autonomous robots that can win a soccer game against the [human] winning team of the last World Cup.
"The goal of the event has an objective and a specific time period: By mid-century we're looking to have a team of autonomous robots that can win a soccer game against the [human] winning team of the last World Cup."
Those who are accustomed to fast-paced human soccer may find watching the robots comparatively slow movements a little boring, but there is one thing superior about the robot version – at least when the robots fall down, they aren't faking.
Tracy López is a bilingual writer living outside the Washington DC metro area. She is the founder of Latinaish.com.