UT Austin Wins RoboCup U.S. Open 2009


Fostering peaceful human-robot relations is only one part of the RoboCup U.S. Open — an annual event that allows the mechanized set to show off their (surprisingly inept) soccer abilities.

After a harrowing, 20-minute game (seen above and below) against the University of Pennsylvania that saw an inordinate amount of players falling over, the vaguely adorable humanoid robots from the University of Texas, Austin took home the trophy.

Say what you will about soccer — it’s dull, un-American, and, again, dull — but when played by autonomous metal homunculi the game becomes something akin to watching our future unfold before us in real-time.

I don’t think teenagers will soon be attempting to “bend it like SoccerBot X-534,” but the complex series of actions and reactions present in this simple game is proof of how far robotics has come since its nascent years.

And how little time we have left before our metal overlords murder everyone and everything we love.

About the author