Perhaps the science isn’t completely rock solid on this prediction, but the Darwin robot does indeed play soccer. If Germany does emerge victorious in Euro 2016, we can all say we knew the Darwin robot before it hit it big.
DARwIn-OP, which stands for Dynamic Anthropomorphic Robot with Intelligence–Open Platform, is a miniature humanoid robot platform that costs $12,000. The Darwin team has won the RoboCup world championships three times in 2011, 2012 and 2013. The technology was developed by UCLA’s robotics and mechanisms lab.
RoboCup is an actual soccer tournament where multi-robot teams play against one another in matches. According to the league’s website, research goals for the competitions concern cooperative multi-robot and multi-agent systems in dynamic adversarial environments. The robots that are used are able to function independently throughout the game.
RoboCup was first established in 1997 with the intention to serve as a serious research project. The organization maintains that the point is not to have fun building robots but rather use it as a way of developing sophisticated artificial intelligence. Soccer to be the sport because it is universally popular and requires team work, real-time perception and a high-level of motion control.
The RoboCup tournament attracts teams from around the world, and will take place this year in Germany from June 30 to July 3.