The RoboCup, a football tournament for robots, has been running for 14 years and this years’ tournament is being held in Istanbul.
The top robotic teams from all around the world will be present alongside their coaches and creators. In 2010 over 500 teams from 40 nations took part and this year the tournament features one of the UK’s first robotic football teams as well as a number of UK high school teams who have qualified for the junior competition.
The goal of the tournament organisers is, by 2050, to gather a team of humanoid robots who are able to beat the best human players. This aim is becoming increasingly possible as technology advances and as a result the standard of football in the RoboCup has increased, the event is also growing with many different categories such as 2D, 3D, small robots, medium robots and humanoid robots.
The RoboCup games are strictly non contact and, although the robots have to be autonomous, the coaches are able to set the robots to communicate with others on the team using Wi-Fi. The robots are also fitted with central sensors enabling them to measure distance and positioning in relation to other external objects, and touch sensors fitted on their feet to improve movement.
Cameras are installed in order for the robots to have a sense of direction and awareness of the ball, the goal and other players. They are able to process the information around them using colour, for example the ball is orange, the pitch is green, the lines are white and each robot has an individual waist band of a particular colour.