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It’s not the World Cup, it’s RoboCup

RoboCup is in Germany, too, and it’s going on right now. The beautiful village of Bremen is playing host to a gathering of more than 400 teams of robots that can do all the things that Renaldo or Beckham can do: dribble, shoot, and even tackle.

A total of 36 countries sent teams to play in RoboCup, with categories including the humanoid variety and the four-legged variety. One thing we can say for sure is that the four-legged robots don’t drool on the ball.

The tournament ends this weekend, with a world champion being crowned. Each of the matches also includes live commentary by—what else—a pair of robots. Their names are Sango and Ami, and they will provide play-by-play and even explain why fouls are called. Not surprisingly, Sango is the droning one of the pair and Ami is the more excitable one.

The more than 2,500 artificial intelligence experts that are behind it all are also gathering in Bremen this week. They are there to test their machines on the field of battle, looking especially at artificial intelligence. They hope to convince someone somewhere to let the robots play against the human champions someday. Whether the humans will accept the challenge remains to be seen.

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