Japan won “RoboCup” 2013, an international football competition dedicated to robots, equivalent of the football world cup. The Japanese robots won the adult-size category while the ‘adolescent’ category was won by Germany.
Japan won with a 4-3 penalty shoot-out against Taiwan.
The competition took place in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, with about a thousand robots from more than 40 countries competing for the title. The robots were divided by height. KidSize was 30-60cm, TeenSize was 90-120cm and Adultsize was 130cm and above.
KidSize soccer sees teams of three highly dynamic robots competing against each other; TeenSize has teams of two bots going head-to-head; AdultSize is basically a penalty shoot out with one robot each side alternately playing as striker and goalkeeper, according to the international press.
The organizers’ goal is to find a robot team so good that could compete against a human team by 2050.
“The element of competition makes [sure] that the entire team is highly motivated so they will spend a large part of their spare time planning, designing and improving the robots. Everyone dreams of being the world champion some day,” the organizers say on the competition’s website.
Humanoid robots have difficulty keeping their balance and the largest, human-height models move more like robots than world-class athletes, the media comments.