• Kyodo

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The robotic version of the World Cup soccer finals opened to the public here Thursday at the Fukuoka Dome.

At the opening ceremony of RoboCup-2002 Fukuoka/Pusan, a group of participants, accompanied by two of Honda Motor Co.’s ASIMO humanoid robots, pledged to play fair in the competition, which runs through Tuesday.

Preliminary matches to weed out the best of the leagues of so-called box-type robots and four-legged robots kicked off at the stadium Wednesday.

The humanoid robot league, which features biped robots and this year became an official league in RoboCup, will face off on Saturday. The finals for each league will be played Sunday.

RoboCup is an international joint project held annually to promote robotics research and public awareness of the field. It began in Nagoya in 1997.

A related event was held in Pusan, South Korea, in May.

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