Forget the Euros, football's RoboCup 2012 begins in two days
With Irish hopes extinguished at Euro 2012, you might be forgiven for wanting to find a new football tournament to dive right into. Ladies and gents, we give you the RoboCup 2012.
Beginning on Monday in Mexico City, the contest will run from June 18-24 and is billed as the best vehicle to promote robotics and AI research - by having the 'bots complete in a game of football, obviously.
The lofty goals of the organisation behind the event is to create a team of "fully autonomous humanoid robot soccer players" that shall win a football game in accordance with the official rules of FIFA "against the winner of the most recent World Cup" within the next 50 years.
It sounds a little like a pipe dream to us, but we reckon the current standard of robot players could at least give Blackburn Rovers a run for their money.
The competition itself has been running since 1997 and though we can't seem to find any Irish entries on the official website, we did spot the "RoboErectus Jr" humanoid side from Singapore. If they're competing then we reckon JOE has found an ideal team to support.
If you've never seen RoboCup football in action before, you can take a look at a blooper reel in the above embedded link. Our personal highlights are a goalkeeper's splits save at the 1.01 mark and a Zidane-style chest headbutt at 1.30.