GOOD NEWS: UBC students help advance robotic research 0
Robot soccer teams from around the world display their skills at UBC's Point Grey campus. (STEVEN CHUA FOR 24 HOURS)
Some of the brightest young minds in the field of robotics put their skills to the test Tuesday with an electronic soccer player match.
University of British Columbia engineers could one day be building machines that can accomplish the simplest of tasks, like fetching a beer from the fridge, or serve more important functions, such as finding survivors in a collapsed building.
But first, they tested their metal in sport.
Students from UBC, Germany, and China competed in the first-ever RoboCup Open held in Canada and will head next week to Mexico for another competition, expected to attract more than 3,000 researchers and students from 40 countries.
The robots use student-developed artificial intelligence software and electromechanical hardware. The small, metallic, and cylindrical players quite literally, have minds of their own.
"Cameras monitor the positions, and then give feedback to a central computer that gives commands to the robotic players . there is no human involvement when they are playing a game of soccer," said Matthew Parizeau, the UBC team's lead software designer.
"(Soccer is the starting point) but then there's also the RoboCup rescue wherein robots navigate a broken environment designed to simulate a place hit by an earthquake and rescue an object," said teammate Christopher Head, illustrating the future applications of robots.