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Dubai will host the World Future Sports Games in 2017

Robotic athletics and drone racing are on deck.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
March 13, 2016
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AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili

Apparently, the World Drone Prix was just the tip of the robotic sports iceberg. Dubai has announced that it's holding the World Future Sports Games, a broader competition, in late December 2017. The tech-focused event will include drone races as well as "robotic swimming, running, wrestling and car racing" -- basically, it's the Olympics for automatons. If it's successful, the plan is to hold the Games every two years after that.

It's an ambitious plan for a city that hasn't even finished hosting the World Drone Prix, whose first-day winner was 15-year-old British pilot Luke Bannister -- there's a long way to go before this is as big a deal as human-powered competition. However, it might not be as outlandish as it sounds. This is a long-term bet that robotic sports tech will improve to the point where you'll want to watch machines duke it out. There's no guarantee that the Games will be successful even if the technology is ready, but Dubai's extravagant wealth could at least give the competition a fighting chance.

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