Robosoccer

A new breed of robots takes to the playing field

7 min read
Robosoccer

2000 RoboCup tournament held in Melbourne, Australia

PHOTOS: WILLIAM STOKES
Participants at the 2000 RoboCup tournament held in Melbourne, Australia, prepare for a medium-robot league match [top]. Each robot in this league carries its own vision and intelligence system. In the small-robot league [middle], an off-field computer uses a camera to identify players from the robots' colored tops. Versions of Sony's Aibo robotic dog compete in the four-legged league [bottom]. The dogs use the colored cylinders to gauge where they are on the field. Click on image to enlarge.

Two teams of boxy, wheeled robots face off against each other. A whistle blows and they spring into action, jostling for possession of a brightly colored golf ball on a playing field the size of a Ping-Pong table. Each team struggles to push the ball into the other team's goal located at the opposite end of the table. The robots move fluidly and quickly, constantly adjusting to the run of play in a surprisingly lifelike way. Their anxious builders look on, unable to help because their offspring are completely autonomous.

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A rendering of a lunar base. In the foreground are rows of solar panels and behind them are two astronauts standing in front of a glass dome with plants inside.
P. Carril/ESA

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NIST

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SICK

This is a sponsored article brought to you by SICK Inc..

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