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    What Playing Soccer Looks Like from a Robot's Point of View

    Written by

    Brian Merchant

    Senior Editor

    If you were a robot, this is approximately what it would feel like to play soccer. It's a POV look at matchup in the most recent RoboCup, an annual international event that sees nations from around the world construct robot soccer teams to compete against each other.

    The 2013 Robocup took place last June in Eindhoven in the Netherlands, and previous events have been held in Japan, Mexico, and the US. The segment was uploaded by Germany's B-Human team, which won this year's "teen size" competition—the robot footballers are divided into "adult," "middle," and "teen size" leagues.

    Each crew of Robocup engineers is pursuing the end goal of building a robot soccer team that can defeat the flesh-and-blood and shin splints-prone FIFA World Cup champions. They hope to do so by 2050. 

    Or, in the words of Robocup's founders: "By mid-21st century, a team of fully autonomous humanoid robot soccer players shall win the soccer game, comply with the official rule of the FIFA, against the winner of the most recent World Cup."

    There's still, clearly, a long ways to go. The robot that we share a POV with above isn't particularly athletic, for starters. He runs out to the field, encounters another robot, and immediately topples over. In other words, he plays soccer the same way I did when I was five. We're still a long ways off from amassing a team of robo-Pelés.

    Instead, here's what we've got so far: 

    Not bad, but they're not exactly going to beat Brazil.