Contestants power up for RoboCup 2007

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Contestants power up for RoboCup 2007

World robot Olympics start today.

Robotics engineers from around the world are gathering at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta for the RoboCup, the world's 'robot Olympics'. 

Events include robot football for two-legged and four-legged machines, spread over three sizes of pitch.

There are also search and rescue missions, and the Nanogram League, a competition for microscopic robots. Sadly Robot Sumo, one of the most popular events at past RoboCups, will not be featured this year.

"One of RoboCup's great strengths is its diverse international flavour," said Tucker Balch, an associate professor at the Georgia Tech College of Computing, and general chairman of RoboCup 2007. 

"We are able to get people together from many countries and backgrounds to share our research and ideas for making robots more effective."

Teams from around the world, as well as spectators, can wander around the events and swap ideas and techniques before competing in the various tournaments.

RoboCup 2007 is the first time the annual event has been held in the US since 2001, and only the second time in the history of the competition.

"RoboCup has an ambitious goal to field a robot soccer team that can defeat the human world champions by 2050," said Balch.

"Nearly all RoboCup participants come from research universities, so it makes perfect sense that RoboCup should return to its roots on a university campus."

Over 300 teams from 37 countries will be taking part in the week long event, bringing the total number of exhibitors to over 1,700.

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