Building a Better Soccer-Playing Robot Dog

Robot dog soccer was the most popular sport at this year's 2005 RoboCup U.S. Open. One of the goals at the three-day competition at the Georgia Institute of technology is to develop software for better robots. Steve Inskeep reports the long-term goal is fielding a robot soccer team good enough to play a human team by 2050.

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STEVE INSKEEP, host:

We're going to round out our robotic coverage this morning with news of robots playing soccer. Rather than the World Cup, this is the RoboCup US Open held this week in Georgia. Scholars displayed their creations and sent them out to compete against one another in a series of games. In one of them, robotic dogs waddled across a field striking a little soccer ball with their noses. Robot dogs from a German university defeated robots from the University of Texas 2-zip. Scientists hope to use what they learn to improve robot software, and they are even dreaming--dreaming, we should emphasize--of a team of robot soccer players that could someday compete against humans.

You can find video of robots making copies of themselves at npr.org.

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