RoboCup 2013

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Eindhoven plays host to RoboCup, a soccer competition among robots designed to play the sport, The Associated Press reports.

With robots participating from forty countries around the world, the event’s goal is to beat human World Cup winners by 2050 while making innovations that are useful outside sports. With this ambition, organizers formed various competition classes like small robots, large robots, humanoid robots and virtual robots. They are strategizing to combine their systems and build a single team of all-star androids competent in defeating real soccer players in a man vs. machine match in the future.

RoboCup Soccer at RoboCup 2013 in Eindhoven (NL)
RoboCup2013/flickr

The robots are capable of using their wheels, enabling their joints to turn at 360 degrees, equipped with an extensive range of sensors. Human interference is prohibited in every division apart from for substitutions. Men are permitted to take out a robot that is not working or if referees eject a player in a foul.

The mid-size robot competition also known as "the R2-D2 league" is the most similar to the real soccer game, which takes part on a 60 foot (18 meter) long court.

The androids bring into play different kicks to pass and shoot while their positions are corresponded with wireless Internet connections.

The University of Eindhoven's "Tech United" is most preferred to win the mid-size division. But the 2012 runners-up from Iran are competitive with more complex robots.

Both the Dutch team and the Iranian team revealed that they are using their secret weapon this year. The two teams are applying "path planning," which means the ball is passed in the direction of an open space while the robot moves fast to catch it.

Rene van de Molengraft, the tournament’s director, says at the cheapest, the standard platform androids cost $5,000. Handmade, taller, adult-size models are charged over $35,000 if purchased in bulk.

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