When will robots beat humans?

Nieuws | de redactie
23 juli 2014 | In 2050, a football team composed of fully autonomous humanoid robots will play against human soccer team winner of the FIFA World Cup. And it is going to win. This may still seem like science fiction to the general population, but, for 4000 engineers and scientists from about 45 countries participating in the RoboCup 2014, the biggest robotics event in the world it is only a matter of time.

Is the expectation that robots will beat the best soccer players of the world in 20150 realistic? For sure is that the robots improved a lot more in the past decades than human footballers. The first RoboCup was held in Nagoya, Japan, in 1997, shortly after the “most spectacular chess event in history,” when the world champion, Garry Kasparov, was defeated in a rematch against the IBM supercomputer called Deep Blue. Since then, every year, leading researchers and the best computers meet a great challenge for Artificial Intelligence.

For six days, totally independent and remote-free robots will compete for a soccer championship, in teams from more than 40 countries. Robots must obey the same rules of a soccer game with two halfs, kickings, scorings, goals, fouls, sidekicks – a big technical challenge. The games will be observed by a human judge, often with the aid of a robot judge. The football competition is divided into five main categories, and subcategories.

From Football to Fukushima

Besides football, there are also competitions in other categories. In the Rescue League, robots designed to replace humans in hazardous rescue situations will be presented. In the Fukushima nuclear accident, which occurred in March 2011, for example, robots developed in RoboCup were used.

The event program also includes workshops on robotics aimed at teacher s of public schools to show how robots can be used in the classroom, in a playful way, in order to teach and awake students to science. During the days of the event, a new event called RoboParty will take place for students to develop, create, compete and learn how to build and program robots.

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