Robotic Dribbling

World Cup football, that is soccer, is back in the news. The tournament, with all its drama, with its tears of joy or disappointment, is being played out in Istanbul. It is time for the World RoboCup.

Disaster for the UK, though. They were knocked out during the early stages and didn’t make it into the final series. The good news is that the manager won’t be sacked. I would venture a thought. The team were all French nationals. They were in heavy training in Edinburgh, but nevertheless one might question their loyalty just a smidge.

This is four-a-side football and most are bipedal. There is a class for robots with wheels, but although it results in a faster game, it doesn’t quite have the magic of one biped shoving another over or diving to save a goal. They weren’t supposed to shove each other over any more than their human copycats are, and they are heavily penalized for it.

So far the kicking is fairly gentlemanly. In due course this will increase. It may take some time before they will “bend it like Beckam.” They have until 2050. That is THE DATE when the plan is for a team of robots to beat a FIFA people team. No money will be changing hands of course.

When I picture a team of robots trotting out onto the hallowed turf at Wembley and beating the pants off England, I feel the carpet moving. I think that we’ll need to focus on cricket. The laws of cricket (ah, you had forgotten that cricket has laws and not little things like rules) will confuse the robotic players. Also when they break for tea, they will have no end of trouble with the strawberry jam and Devonshire cream on their scones.


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