Video: watch robots playing football from the robot's point of view

The annual RoboCup was started in 1997 with the aim of creating a team capable of beating the human World Cup champions by 2050.

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The Independent Tech

When Robot Wars lost its edge RoboCup was there to step into the non-circular-saw-wielding breach. Now, the annual football tournament between robots and their makers has been shot from the robot’s point of view.

The video above comes from Germany’s B-Human team and was shot during this year’s competition in June. The event was first held in 1997, with the end goal being to field a team of robots capable of beating the human World Cup champions by 2050.

This goal might not be achieved however, as although computers have long been human’s equals when it comes to analytical games like chess, their physical capabilities have proved much harder to successfully engineer.

Whilst some teams still gamely attempt to create designs that mimic bipedal human movement, others are more practical, opting for the stability of wheels and tracks.

According to their website the RoboCup is now slanted towards “[promoting] robotics and AI research” by “offering a publicly appealing, but formidable challenge.”

The matches are split into three different classes based on the size of the robot – the ‘teen’, ‘middle’ and ‘adult’ classes. The footage above from the German team was from the ‘teen size’, who later won in their division.

 As well as soccer, RoboCup also plays host to competitions that focus on other tasks requiring robotic agility and manoeuvrability. These include the RoboCupRescue for assisting emergency responders and RoboCup@Home to help carers looking after the elderly or disabled.

Spectators watch as robots play soccer on a miniature field during the Robocup tournament in Singapore in 2010. Photo credit: REUTERS/Vivek Prakash