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Photos: RoboCup puts the ball in play

World Cup soccer matches not techie enough for you? Check out these robo-Ronaldinhos.
By Bill Detwiler, Contributor on
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RoboCup in Bremen

A competitor at the RoboCup 2006 games takes aim to send a ball past a player for the opposing team. The robotic soccer tournament, talking place in Bremen, Germany, this week, is running in parallel with the World Cup soccer extravaganza.

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Ayami Yohoyama

Ayami Yohoyama of Japan's Twades robo-soccer team programs her Aibo for a match.

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Cornered

Cornered! But this diminutive robot could still get the ball in the goal--with a heaping dose of bending it like Beckham.

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Sony Qrio

If robots can play soccer, why not also provide color commentary? In fact, that's the assignment for a pair of robots from Carnegie Mellon University for some of the matches. Based on Sony's humanoid Qrio (seen here), the duo of Ami and Sango will receive wireless input from the Game Controller, the system that communicates the referee's calls to the robot players. Ami is designed to be emotional, while Sango is the sober one, Carnegie Mellon says.

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programmers

Not all of the action takes place on the soccer field. Here, a pair of flesh-and-blood programmers make sure their robot systems are ready for game time.

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adjustments to tall robot

A human handler makes adjustments to one of the taller robots in the tournament.

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big hands

My, what big hands you have! Such a shame that soccer makes them off-limits.

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Robo-goalie

As this robo-goalie gets ready to send the ball upfield, a spectator on the sidelines seems far more engrossed in his laptop. Checking ESPN.com, perhaps?

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Robots large and small

In between the games, some of the more humanoid robots gather for a group shot.

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