They can be adapted to a wide range of human activities -- spying, killing, and assembling automobiles, to name but a few -- but as the various RoboCup competitions remind us time and again, our soccer fields are safe from robot encroachment for the time being. The above specimen, a joint venture by researchers at Osaka University and the Osaka Institute of Technology, is in the Adult Size Class, competing against robots between 130 and 160 centimeters (4.25 and 5.25 feet) tall. The goal of the RoboCup organization is to develop an autonomous soccer robot that will defeat a human team by 2050 -- and it sure looks like it will take forty years at least to reach that goal. See the robot take a slow, measured goal kick for yourself after the break.
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