A Quick Course in RoboSoccer

Every football match is played according to a set of rules and pursues a single aim: getting the ball into the opponent’s goal. As frequently as possible. Or at least one more time than the opponent gets it into yours. Which is harder than it sounds! After all, regardless of whether it’s robots or human beings facing off on the field, the fact remains that “in football, everything is complicated by the presence of the other team” (Jean-Paul Sartre). So what are, actually, the salient facts of RoboSoccer? Below: the key questions answered by the well-informed Christian Eder.

A Brief History of RoboSoccer or A Standard Problem of Artificial Intelligence

Right from the start, work in the fields of robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) has revolved around the emulation of human capabilities. This is made particularly clear by the robot’s linguistic origins: derived from the Czech word “robot,” the concept of mechanical “corvée or forced labor” (link to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robot) first appeared in the early 20th century in the science fiction works of the Capek Brothers. Josef Capek, in his 1921 play “R.U.R.,” described anthropoid laborers bred in tanks (whereby the author had recourse to the Golem motif). Then, in 1942, Isaac Asimov (link to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isaac_Asimov) formulated his famous Three Laws of Robotics in his short story “Runaround”: