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Robotics Science Technology

Road to the Robocup 2004 87

RuiFerreira writes "Artificial Intelligence and Robotics researchers meet in Portugal from 27th June to 5th July in the 8th Robocup Football World Championships. RoboCup is an international research and education initiative. Its goal is to foster artificial intelligence and robotics research by providing a standard problem where a wide range of technologies can be examined and integrated. The RoboCup Federation proposed the ultimate goal of the RoboCup Initiative to be stated as follows: 'By 2050, a team of fully autonomous humanoid robot soccer players shall win a soccer game, complying with the official FIFA rules, against the winner of the most recent World Cup of Human Soccer.' Robocup has an exciting programme including RoboCup Symposium, the RoboCup Soccer (humanoid, middle-size, small-size, 4-legged, simulation), the RoboCup Rescue (real and simulated robots) and the RoboCup Junior (dance, soccer and rescue) competitions. The robotic competitions will take place at Pavilion 4 of Lisbon Industry Fair located at the Parque das Nações, the site of the 1998 World Exposition (EXPO'98)."
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Road to the Robocup 2004

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  • pics & videos (Score:5, Informative)

    by rd4tech ( 711615 ) * on Saturday June 26, 2004 @04:36PM (#9538989) all.jpg htm
  • by Chucklz ( 695313 ) on Saturday June 26, 2004 @04:38PM (#9538995)

    The soccer team became self-aware at 6:21 pm. Slashdotters everywhere scared shitless. Knew the end was coming, but were more concerned about their kernels.
  • robo rules 2004 (Score:4, Informative)

    by rd4tech ( 711615 ) * on Saturday June 26, 2004 @04:39PM (#9538999)
    ruls []
  • by Zorilla ( 791636 ) on Saturday June 26, 2004 @04:42PM (#9539017)
    Robo Hooligans
  • I, for one, welcome our new soccer robot masters...
  • by DavidNWelton ( 142216 ) on Saturday June 26, 2004 @04:47PM (#9539054) Homepage
    Will they be allowed to use lasers? Is that against FIFA rules?

    I think the human players will win by rolling around the ground clutching their knees to draw penalty shots. A robot will never be able to do that convincingly.
    • by hkfczrqj ( 671146 ) on Saturday June 26, 2004 @04:58PM (#9539121)
      I think the human players will win by rolling around the ground clutching their knees to draw penalty shots.

      You're right, but robots can have ultra-sentitive detectors so when a player comes near, the robot mysteriously falls, rolls on the floor and some fake blood comes out of its structure.

      Also, robots can have more "eyes" than humans, so they can foul/spit/punch humans and be sure that no referee was watching.
  • a GOAL! (Score:5, Funny)

    by jokach ( 462761 ) on Saturday June 26, 2004 @04:52PM (#9539079) Homepage
    I wonder if the robots will run around taking off their shirts when they score a goal ...

    • Re:a GOAL! (Score:3, Informative)

      That would be a breach of FIFA rules. Really, it would.
    • Actually, I never undrestood why players strip their shirts.

      Let us presume that this behavior is really meaningless (as I believe it is). So programmers could intentionaly code this practice in robots' AI. The coach of human team will think that robots are stupid since they are doing this. He will underestimate robot team, which will be the way robots get some minor tactical advantage.

      Hopefuly, Goran Ericsson and Rudi Voeler are too old to be capable of leading human team in 2050, so that gives good cha
  • those robotic rescue contests... I entered a local one with my friend not too long ago and our robots failed miserably after we fixed the 5 problems on each of ours that caused them to be disqualified. I guess the heated metal cheese grater wasnt such a great idea...
  • robots playing soccer? me if they include a riot function
  • Ever think of a game of 4-legs Vs. 2-legs? Got to be fun!
    • If the robot had half a brain it would keep the ball under it by dribbling with its' back legs. The bot would just stroll up and score. If I were to coach the human team, I'd send out the crappy players to destroy the bots and when they get ejected from the game, I'd replace them with beter players repeating untill all the bots are dead and are forced to resign...
  • humanoid (Score:5, Funny)

    by InternationalCow ( 681980 ) <mauricevansteens ... m ['c.c' in gap]> on Saturday June 26, 2004 @05:06PM (#9539152) Journal
    We'll know that they're really close to being like humans when they start asking ridiculous salaries, wear interesting hairdo's and date has-been pop stars :)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 26, 2004 @05:41PM (#9539295)
    Here [] is the server for the simulation league. I helped code a team for one of my college classes; it was pathetic :). The University of Amsterdam Trilean [] team has won three years straight. You should check it out; their team kicks some serious ass. If you're interested in the simulation league, be sure to check out the publications [] by the Trilearn team. The Master's thesis [] especially is a must read for anyone attempting to write a client. Tons of information on everything from self-localization to optimal-pass-determination.
  • by fantomas ( 94850 ) on Saturday June 26, 2004 @05:44PM (#9539315)

    By 2050, a team of fully autonomous humanoid robot soccer players shall win a soccer game..

    Well I think if it comes down to penalties against England, they might not have to wait until 2050... has Beckham's shot come out of orbit yet?

  • I think that robots winning against a human team will happen much much later than 2050.

    It's more a gut feeling than a "sicentific based" prediction, but i think that perception and interaction with the real world is definitely the reign of animals, (and therefore humans).

    It took evolution 1 billion years to create animals that run around and "act smart".

    I think that the classical AI that models the world with language and rules, is a much simpler problem in comparison,
    in other words, i think that a moder
    • by rebelcool ( 247749 ) on Saturday June 26, 2004 @06:16PM (#9539441)
      robotics and classical AI, while related, have diverged alot in the past 20 years. The future of practical AI will probably be found in robotics.

      Classical AI has made little progress at all. Cyc is really a formal machine that is the epitome of classical AI, and all its bizarre limitations - and it doesn't do hardly anything. Autonomous robotics on the other has made leaps and bounds. If you think things like the QRIO and Asimo are impressive, wait till you see their platforms are merged with the latest navigation and communication abilities currently found in labs. Part of the point of the robocup is to show off the latest in teamwork abilities.

      2050 is a reasonable estimate and a decent goal. You don't need a robot that will debate the meaning of life and philosophy with you to play good soccer. I somehow doubt many of those soccer players could do that very well, either :)

      Consider how it wasn't all that long ago that assertions were being continously made that machines could never beat a human at chess...

      • by giampy ( 592646 )
        I agree on practically all the points.
        I think robotics is the way to go, and it is also much more challenging...

        I guess that what i was trying to say is that, if you look carefully, create a small robot that acts smart and actively interacts with the environment, MAY very well be more difficult than create a robot that can discuss the meaning of life.

        QRIO and Asimo are impressive but they are way below the "smartness" of cats and mouses,
        which simply means there is a long way to go in autonomous robotics.
        • The robots are only performing one task, albeit a pretty complex one.

          The goalkeeper I think would be the first thing to be "got right". It's not hard to imagine a robot goalkeeper in 2050 being very good indeed at stopping shots.

          Open play is a more complex problem but to have a team that beat a human team you wouldn't have to play like a human team nor necessarily be better than them at all aspects of the game. A goal keeper that is very good at saving and making pinpoint "route one" passes and some mob
      • by Anonymous Coward
        Actually, Cyc [] is just a database.

        The Cyc knowledge base (KB) is a formalized representation of a vast quantity of fundamental human knowledge: facts, rules of thumb, and heuristics for reasoning about the objects and events of everyday life.

        You wouldn't expect it to do much, any more than you would expect your Encyclopedia Brittanica to become self-aware and launch a campaign to eradicate the ugly bags of mostly water.

        The "classical AI" guys have have little recent progress essentially because they s

    • by Saeger ( 456549 ) <> on Saturday June 26, 2004 @06:49PM (#9539584) Homepage
      I think that robots winning against a human team will happen much much later than 2050.

      It's more a gut feeling than a "sicentific based" prediction

      Your "gut feeling" is more accurately described as the "common-sense intuitive linear" view of the rate of change, and it would be wrong.

      It took evolution 1 billion years to create animals that run around and "act smart".

      If you'd look a little closer, you'd notice that each evolutionary advancement took exponentially less time. Exponential progress is a feature of ANY evolutionary system, including technology.

      From the Law of Accelerating Returns []:

      If we examine the timing of these steps, we see that the process has continuously accelerated. The evolution of life forms required billions of years for the first steps (e.g., primitive cells); later on progress accelerated. During the Cambrian explosion, major paradigm shifts took only tens of millions of years. Later on, Humanoids developed over a period of millions of years, and Homo sapiens over a period of only hundreds of thousands of years.

      With the advent of a technology-creating species, the exponential pace became too fast for evolution through DNA-guided protein synthesis and moved on to human-created technology. Technology goes beyond mere tool making; it is a process of creating ever more powerful technology using the tools from the previous round of innovation. In this way, human technology is distinguished from the tool making of other species. There is a record of each stage of technology, and each new stage of technology builds on the order of the previous stage.

      The first technological steps-sharp edges, fire, the wheel--took tens of thousands of years. For people living in this era, there was little noticeable technological change in even a thousand years. By 1000 A.D., progress was much faster and a paradigm shift required only a century or two. In the nineteenth century, we saw more technological change than in the nine centuries preceding it. Then in the first twenty years of the twentieth century, we saw more advancement than in all of the nineteenth century. Now, paradigm shifts occur in only a few years time. The World Wide Web did not exist in anything like its present form just a few years ago; it didn't exist at all a decade ago.

      Robotics is just one advancing tech we'll see on the shortening road to the Singularity.


    • It is quite possible that humanity will have the technology and resources to create a robot team that can defeat a team of humans by 2050, but you have to ask yourselve, would humanity be motivated to do such a thing. Sure soccer is the most popular sport in the world but most people would agree, brainpower could be put to much better tasks. Such an event has already happened, the space race. Once the United States reached the moon and after the Soviet Union collapsed, most people forgot about the space
  • Every true soccer fan knows the best part of a soccer game is the victory soccer riot. I personally think it would be funny to watch the robots riot.
  • Two teams from my school down here in Australia are competing in the Junior soccer competition [].

    The two teams in question are from Kardinia International College in Australia. Mr Ernie Follet is a stupid humorous house leader who is always wrong (NOT!) and Mr Dale Clohesy is a sport teacher at my school. (don't be suprised if anyone hears excess swearing or blowing of whistles, it's common).

    I can't let out any design secrets, not that I know any :) Well, I did chip in a $4 AUD donation in a raffle they wer
  • I like this idea, of 'smart' robots knowing rules and regulations and stuff. Just don't know why they decided to let them play soccer. Why not drive around in a car. I think that would be a better way of expressing true robotic potential.

    Hopefully, if we can actually accomplish this robotic feat, that we could have little robotic buddies that would follow us around and do our biddings. And we could have intellectual conversations with them, and not have them repeat the same line twice.

In the realm of scientific observation, luck is granted only to those who are prepared. - Louis Pasteur