Robocup 2019: Robots battle out in Football World cup

Robocup 2019 was held in Sydney. A football world cup for autonomous robots, the event attracts a hoard of enthusiasts from around the world. Engineers, young programmers, software developers, among others, are regular participants of the event.  Organizers of the contest believe by 2050 the robots will become more competent and will be able to even beat the best human team in the world.

The event witnessed engagement from about 30 countries battling in the world cup. A kid-sized robot from Germany, a mid-sized robot from the Netherlands, and an adult-sized robot from China are a few to name. As per the rules of the contest, the robots are completely on their own, in other words they have to play fully autonomous. “Jack has quite advanced algorithms, for example, to find the ball on the field,” said Maike Paetzel from Hamburg Bit-Bots about her robot Jack’s competency. “Also knowing where he is on the field and then he can score goals,” she added.

“What you saw a few years back is that robots that were good at shooting only or passing only- that was enough, but now you need to combine all those things together in a good strategy and make sure the robots work together,” comments Wouter Kuijpers from Tech United on the evolution of robots in the game of football.

The robots also have evolved in a way that they know where exactly they are on the field, because the football fields look exactly symmetric. The robot hence faces the difficulty of knowing whether it’s their goal to take or the opponent’s. This has been one of the major challenges to tackle for the engineers.

A commonly observed practice is that the teams share codes after the tournament, thus working in unison on endorsing the sport of football among robots.