Saturday, June 26, 2010

Why watch people play soccer when you can watch robots?

The 2010 FIFA World Cup is taking the world by storm, and although China didn't qualify for the real tournament in South Africa, they are determined to participate in the world game- robot style.

Over the next three days, China will host the inaugural International Humanoid Robot Olympic Games. (As if hosting the Olympics two years ago wasn't enough.) In this Olympic Games- with a twist- nineteen teams from China, the United States, Japan, South Korea and Germany will compete their shiny, humanoid robots in a number of events including track-and-field, soccer, volleyball, boxing and weight-lifting.

While the competition may not draw the same crowds as the World Cup, the event looks to be a hallmark of the future. The organisers have even gone so far as to claim that the robot Olympics is designed to help make more intelligent robots for use at home. (My Mum always said she would invest in new technology when it could clean the house and cook dinner. Perhaps her waiting days are almost over.)

If you ask me, the robots look like an unsettling mix between evil automatons straight out of Dr Who and toy transformers.

But if robots are more your 'thing', you can have your very own soccer-playing android for the bargain price of $1,000, according to RIA Novosti. (Warning: designing a robot also involves many months of painstaking work. I'm just saying...)

Sounds like it would be easier to just go watch real people kick a ball around, even if the refs are terrible and some of the players are whingers (don't get me started on the vuvuzelas). I'd imagine the boys are easier on the eyes as well. Robots are butt ugly, don't you think?

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