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Robotic Technology

Just kicking it

By Lisa Rummler

April 2010 - Robots do not walk among us, despite what some movies and TV shows would have us believe. They can be found on the soccer field, however--at least they could in early April in Scotland.

That's when The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland, held The Road to RoboCup, an event featuring a three-robot soccer team. This event, held during the launch of the 2010 Edinburgh International Science Festival, allowed the team, Android FC, to show off its soccer skills.

The robots were created at The University of Edinburgh's School of Informatics. Each member of the team--a striker, defender and goalkeeper--stands 2 ft. tall and is fully autonomous.

Additionally, the robots have embedded processors that allow them to make sense of their surroundings and react to other players' movements, according to a press release. The members of Android FC can also learn from human demonstrations.

The event at The University of Edinburgh kicked off the robotic soccer team's preparations for the 2011 RoboCup championshipin Istanbul, Turkey.

Dr. Sethu Vijayakumar, a reader at The University of Edinburgh's School of Informatics, developed the robots and said RoboCup serves as a driving force in this academic arena.

"RoboCup is a key challenge in robotics research," Vijayakumar said in a press release. "It helps focus efforts toward a complete, embedded solution to the problem of sensing, intelligence and dynamic movements in robots and creates a benchmark against which more socially relevant, useful and autonomous robots can be developed." FFJ

Sources

  • The University of Edinburgh
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    phone: 44 (0)131 650 1000
    fax: 44 (0)131 650 2147
    www.ed.ac.uk

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