• Kyodo


Three robots that will be part of next week’s robotic version of the World Cup soccer finals were shown to the media Wednesday in Tokyo, with one demonstrating its ability to kick a ball and strike a victory pose.

The robots will face off at RoboCup-2002 Fukuoka/Busan, an international competition and conference on robotic research and technology that will be held in the city of Fukuoka.

A RoboCup-related event was held last month in Pusan, South Korea.

This year’s RoboCup, which runs from June 19 to 25, has been held annually since the first in Nagoya in 1997. It also coincides with the actual World Cup currently being cohosted by Japan and South Korea through June 30.

Organizers say the ultimate goal of the event, most of which will take place at Fukuoka Dome, is to create by 2050 a soccer team of robots that can beat the human World Cup champion team.

The latest RoboCup event is expected to attract 193 teams from 30 nations and about 1,000 robotics researchers, the organizers said.

Featured events include a simulated league that employs software, robots performing disaster work and the first game involving biped robots, they said.

There has been so much progress in the field of robotic development that it is now difficult to capture the movements of robots on television, Hiroaki Kitano, one of the organizers of the event, told a news conference in Tokyo.

RoboCup attempts to foster artificial intelligence and intelligent-robotics research by providing a standard problem in which a wide range of technologies can be integrated and examined, according to the organizers.

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