The Robot World Cup Kicks Off in Brazil This Week
If you're struggling with post-World Cup depression on this gloomy Monday, don't fret because the Robot World Cup is here to put a smile on your face.
Founded in 1997, the Robocup attracts developers from all around the world who put forth their robotic athletes to battle it across a number of soccer-related disciplines. RoboCup Federation, the organizers of the tournament, say that the ultimate goal of the tournament is to create a robotic team that could beat the Fifa World Cup champions by 2050.
While that goal may seem ambitious, there's certainly something to be said for the progress that has been made in the past 17 years. According to Dan Lee, engineering professor at UPenn and insider on the Robocup, back in the late 90s, these robot soccer players had the skill set approximate to that of a junior 5-year old league. Games were rudimentary to say the least: getting them to simply kick the ball was an achievement. Now, though, developers are moving beyond basic techniques to start programming their robotic athletes to utilize different match strategies depending on happenings on the pitch.
This year's tournament will take place in Joao Passoa in Brazil starting on the 19th July.