Football and robotics: a female team teaches robots a lesson

Football and robotics: a female team teaches robots a lesson

A few years ago the professor and roboticist Maurice Pagnocco claimed that by 2050, a team of humanoid robots would fairly beat the World Cup-winning football team. Back to earth during the last European RoboCup 2022 during which teams of robots competed for a week. To conclude this technological tournament which took place in Guimarães (Portugal), the Dutch team of robots Tech Unite (which dominated the proceedings during the RoboCup) was faced with the Portuguese women’s team of Vitória SC.

It is an understatement to say that we witnessed a real massacre, the women having absolutely no difficulty in stealing the balls from their robotic opponents while the goalkeeper robot was practically holed up with every action. Queens of fair play, the players still let the robots come back to score so that the match ended with a penalty shootout (during which the goal-robot was much more to his advantage). In the end, the match was won by the machines, but this kindly granted score does not deceive anyone: the robots still do not know how to play football and it is hard to see how it could be otherwise within the next two decades.

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