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How football playing robots have the future of artificial intelligence at their feet
Date:9/13/2010

The new Premier League season has begun and in Madrid the World Cup celebrations are barely over, yet according to research in WIREs Cognitive Science the world's best players may soon be facing a new challenge from football playing robots, which their creators claim will be able to play and beat a human team. The research reveals how building robots to play football is driving the development of artificial intelligence and robotic technology which can be used for roles including search and rescue and home help.

The author, Claude Sammut, from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Autonomous Systems in Sydney, reviewed the technology demonstrated at the RoboCup international robot soccer competition which this year took place in Singapore. Competitions have become a popular way for motivating innovations in robotics and provide teams of scientists with a way of comparing and testing new methods of programming artificial intelligence (AI).

"Football is a useful task for scientists developing robotic artificial intelligence because it requires the robot to perceive its environment, to use its sensors to build a model of that environment and then use that data to reason and take appropriate actions," said Sammut. "On a football pitch that environment is rapidly changing and unpredictable requiring a robot to swiftly perceive, reason, act and interact accordingly."

As with human players football also demands communication and cooperation between robotic players and crucially requires the ability to learn, as teams adjust their tactics to better take on their opponents.

Aside from football the competition also includes leagues for urban search and rescue and robotic home helpers which take place in areas simulating collapsed buildings and residential homes, revealing the multiple use of this technology.

While a football pitch layout is structured and known in advance, a search and rescue environment is highly unst
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Contact: Ben Norman
Lifesciencenews@wiley.com
44-012-437-70375
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert  

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