RoboCup: the World Championship on robotics!
RoboCup is a worldwide project. The goal of the project is: Build a soccer playing robot that looks like a human and that can win from the human world champion in 2050! The knowledge about robotics which is obtained, is shared within the RoboCup teams so the technology improves very fast. By using soccer as a subject, many people will get interested in the RoboCup.
RoboCup has already grown into a project which gets worldwide attention. Every year, multiple tournaments are organized in different countries all over the world, where teams from all over the world participate in various disciplines. There are tournaments in Germany, Portugal, China etc. A couple of months ago Eindhoven, was awarded to be the smartest region in the world. With this title, Eindhoven University of Technology is also going to organize a RoboCup event. Together with this event technology and robotics in general will be promoted.
RoboCup Soccer League
The robot soccer is united in a league called the RoboCup Soccer League. This League is divided in multiple competitions, including the Small Size, the Middle Size and the Humanoid League.
The Small Size League is played at a small soccer field. Above this field a camera is placed, which provides the robots with information about the position of the ball, the fellow players and the opposite players. At this league the improvement of the teamwork of the robots is most important.
At the Middle Size League teams of complete autonomous robots play against each other with official Fifa ruling on a field of 12-18 meters. The robots are independent and communicate with each other about the actions they have to take.
In the Humanoid League the robots move and behave like humans! Skills like walking, running and shooting a ball are most important to develop. The result of these three leagues will eventually provide knowledge to produce a team of android robots which will play soccer independent. Their tactics will change during the game, just as during every soccer match.
RoboCup in modern society
Robots which can propel, communicate with each other and with humans and react to their constantly changing environment can be applied in the society in many different ways. Therefore RoboCup has the RoboCup Rescue and the RoboCup@Home challenges. The Rescue-robots can be used when a disaster has occurred and humans can’t handle it on their own or when it is too dangerous for humans to help. The @Home challenge has as goal the development of robots which can be used in domestic or care environments such as hospitals or nursing homes. They can assist humans and perform tasks like carrying patients.