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Robots Hit the Pitch for RoboCup 2014!

Having a hard time accepting that World Cup is over? Then you might want to check out the 2014 RoboCup, happening this week in Brazil. Just don’t expect any tears or flops from these robot competitors!

The RoboCup is an annual event now in its 17th year. The first tournament was held in Japan in 1997. There are four major competitions throughout the week, but the one that draws the most fans to the event is RoboCup soccer. There are different categories within the soccer league, but the humanoid group is split into kid, teen, and adult robots.

Five teams from across the globe qualified for the adult-size Humanoid tournament. The United States was represented by Team THORwin, which came out on top of the group. THORwin won three games and tied once, scoring six total goals. The HuroEvolutionAD team from Taiwan came in second place in the group, winning one game.

The tournament is about more than just soccer, though, because it is meant to show off the latest innovations in the world of robotics and promote research in the field. Visitors of the weeklong event can attend workshops that focus on the building of the robots and can even interact with robots during special expositions.

Still, robots playing soccer! Naturally it’s what attracts the most attention, and the competitions at RoboCup are meant to help the RoboCup Initiative meet its ultimate goal: “By the middle of the 21st century, a team of fully autonomous humanoid robot soccer players shall win a soccer game, complying with the official rules of FIFA, against the winner of the most recent World Cup.”

You’re on notice, Germany!

Check out the RoboCup website for more information on the competition.

Photo: Ina Fassbender/Reuters

robocup 2014