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Robot soccer - AIBO Blown Away 100

Chilli writes "The results of RoboCup 2000 (the 4th RoboCup world championships) are out. There was a big suprise in the four legged robot league, which consistently uses AIBO hardware. UNSW United blew the competition away. In the final, they won 10-0 against last year's champion. The success was largely due to a new walking technique developed by the UNSW team."
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Robot soccer - AIBO Blown Away

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  • Why would anyone in the States be interested in a football match anyway.

    Every other country in the World plays football, yet all the Americans play soccer.

    American football is nothing more than a girls rugby, has it's own World league, in which no other countries participate.

  • From the application page:
    if you are a corporation or private party and wish to create a link.

    /. isn't, is it?
  • Is this kind of like those "Battle Bots" on Comedy Central?

    Um, no. The battle bots are remote controlled by people (and are pretty boring, but that's just IMHO), the soccer robots are run by AI.


  • What's this "soccer" rubbish? It's FOOTBALL, you bloody Yank. ok bye.


  • by nanodroid ( 116613 ) on Tuesday September 05, 2000 @03:50AM (#805173)
    Yes, these football robots are all good and fine, but what I want to see are some ice hockey robots able to duke it out like the goons they should be. Besides, a robot able to skate would be quite a challenge to engineer, methinks...
  • Do robot dogs dream of electric sheep?
  • You can't cover the beautiful game without referring to the pies!

    After all, during a cold, wet, wind-swept 3rd Division game on a Tuesday evening in December I've only had the humbe pie to keep me warm.

  • ...the parts of the world worth living in.

  • I assume you actually have read the Bible, in which case you'd realise that capitalism is inherently anti-Christian. Communism is much more compatible, what with all it's wealth-sharing etc. Anti-American does not equal anti-Christian, after all.
  • I used to whistle into a microphone connected to my spectrum, loading the whole of School Daze into memory. Those were the days.
  • NBA champs are called "World Champions"
    and so are called MLB champs...

    It's the same attitude to call USA "America"

  • The gimmick for the winning aibo robot was actually software, the link is at the top of the page (!). They had a better walking algorithm, however there are many more leagues in robocup than just the aibo league. The aibo hardware is very limited in it's ability to cominicate between robots and also in it's sensors. So the really interesting intelligent autonomous robots won't be found in the aibo's. Although it is commendable that the aibo uses a fixed platform so hardware gimmicks aren't an issue. My comment refered to robocup as a whole especially the middle sized league (and the bi-pedel league once it develops ).
  • Until the robots can rip of their shirts and run around in their sports bras, color me unimpressed.
  • > /. isn't, is it?

    In what sense? Slashdot is owned by a public corporation. It was purchased back in '99 by, which subsequently went public. Shortly after its IPO, Andover was acquired by another public corporation, VA Linux, for cash and stock reportedly worth around $900 million.

  • Yes, AIBO was blown away. By.... AIBO!

    Sibling rivalry at its worst!

  • The robocup sounds interesting, but it's hard to tell when I've never actually seen it. Is there some way to watch the robots play other than quicktime movies that can't be viewed on Linux?
  • On the 1st point: They [emotions] cause vastly more problems and suffering than any other aspect of human existence, and hold us back from the wonders of tomorrow. We'll all be better off without them.

    We'd be better off without love, hate and other emotions? What would have motivated humans to create so many ingenious things that have no direct use towards immediate survival if *not* emotions?? If nothing else, think of how many scientific advances were made in the pursuit of better war machines. Do you suggest such advances are not a result of hate for an enemy or love of one's (war-threatened) family?

    Further, consider that genetic selection KEPT humans who could 'Love' as a way to ensure parents stayed together at least long enough to raise their offspring. Or look at how it seems to be a genetic advantage to love your kinsmen and friends -- so that when one is threatened, social bonds lead the rest to assist ... and thereby ensure more chances for your gene pools to reproduce.

    You may think that this is outdated and no longer relevant to our species, but consider: humans still try to *achieve*. Why? Because it is a means of gaining social rank ... which gives access to better mates (and a stronger tribe) to forward their genes. Achievement is as an indirect product of the strongest emotions. It is from our desire for emotional fulfillment that the side effect of advancing science occurs.

    I doubt we would we bother to achieve anything without emotional drives.

  • I disagree. UNSW had an advantage due to the faster walk, but it is clear to see that the AI level was quite good as well. Have a look at the robocup challenge results, which UNSW also won, (by only 1 point though). A team which is winning only by its gimmick is not likely to win a competition involving ball skills, after all a fast moving robot will find it harder to control the ball.

    During the true competition UNSW had only one goal scored against them - an own goal... Seems like the goalie AI was pretty good too...

    I think you are knocking them for no real reason. [] is the UNSW site of the challenge.

  • You seem to miss the point that these are all standard issue Sony robots.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 05, 2000 @04:05PM (#805188)
    I'm from Canada and just HAPPENED to be backpacking in Melbourne, Australia when I heard Robocup 2000 was on. Being a dedicated geek I decided to show up on the last day and see it for myself. I must say I was a little disapponted. It was cool an all, but I was there on the LAST day, which should have all the best stuff and the snazziest teams, but there wasn't a whole helluva lot to see and do. A comment on the robosoccer players: It was blatantly obvious (and probably is to a lot of you already, but I'll say it anyway) that the larger/more complex the robotics involved the shittier the soccer you watched. The best were the pure AI players displayed on a big-assed screen for all to see. No robotics at all. The winning team was FC Portugal and they did a fine job of getting their players to always go after the ball/opposing players in two, which in my opinion cinched their victory. The worst were the humanoid biped walkers. It was sort of neat to watch (the one I actually saw walk), but the thing was painfully slow, and watching the little 2' robotic imp turn was excruciating. It just sort of rocked back and forth for half a minute until it had changed direction. In it's favour it did manage to kick a ball into a goal, but they aren't anywhere NEAR being able to play soccer. They were more of a techo demo. Aside from that they had the small wheeled robots, the larger wheeled robots (sorta Dalek looking), and the Aibos. I didn't realize you could program EVERYTHING on there, including their now famous kneeling crab-walk gait that really did help. Even without their new walk their strategy was better. I couldn't tell you what it was, but it was aetherally THERE and helping them out. It was hilarious to watch the other (standard gait) continuously get bowled over by the crab-gait team. At one point I think ALL of the opposing team's Aibos were on their backs flailing their legs in the air trying to right themselves! WEll that's it that's all. $20 entry fee. Ciao bella. -=Cam =====
  • jesus, what are you mods thinking? this is the only live report we got and it's at 0?!?!
  • it WAS rugby! the winning team won by toppling the other robots. that's kinda simple.

    if i was competing there, i would give each of my dogbots a chainsaw.
  • Yes, unlike the millions of possible groups who aren't corporations or private parties.

    Good to know the jackasses keep their financial information nearby, so that they can include more data in their clueless posts.
  • by kevin805 ( 84623 ) on Tuesday September 05, 2000 @06:23PM (#805192) Homepage
    You aren't going to get anywhere with "high level strategy". That's why no one has anything to show for 50 years of AI research.

    Who cares if you find the optimal strategy for playing soccer within certain constraints? Programming a computer to play a perfect game of tic-tac-toe doesn't get you any closer to building something that's actually intelligent.

    Robots aren't near human level computing power, so anything that looks like "strategy" is "pre-computed formula". On the other hand, Rodney Brooks' robots are in the same league as bugs, and they do bug like things in ways that may be close to how bugs do them.

    So let the state of the art advance based on hardware for a while. Eventually, though, everyone will be running very similar hardware, and the better software will win out. Everyone is probably already running a good overall strategy -- it's the local control abilities that no one knows how to do well.
  • Or, as a more interesting question, did YOU submit the applications before linking in your article?

  • avoid the messiness of organic life altogether

    What is wrong with "organic"? The structures you can make with organic molecules seem to support a much greater complexty than any anorganic molecules. Of course IANAChemist, so I could be wrong.

    Why not imagine organic machines? (Okay, I know some people already did) With the organic, more complex stuctures, it is perhaps possible to boost computing power way beyond anything imaginable with silicium chips. If we assume that intelligence is just a result of computations made by our brain, then our brain is just an organic-supercomputer. (Well, skip the "super" part for some people ^_^ )

    I don't think that organic implies "mortal", so even an eventual artificial organic computer could be able to cross the vast distance between the stars and perpetuate human legacy. Yes I say "legacy" because neither the organic nor the silicium machines will be human, they would just be our evolutionary children.

  • The last time I took a networking class, the differences between bitrate and baudrate were explained. In short, bitrate is the number of bits transferred per second, baudrate is the number of signal changes per second. If you would use only two tones to encode a bit, then the bitrate and the baudrate would be the same. If that is the case with your modem, then you are right in the assumption that listening to a modem is listening in binary.
    However, to achieve more than 2800 odd bit/s [1], two or more bits are encoded into one tone, the bitrate multiplies accordingly, so you would listnen in base-4, base-8 or base-16.

    [1] please fill in the right number, as I do not know it by heart (shame on me).

  • So, what would be the gimmick developed for the winning team? Does anyone have a link?

  • I can't believe I'm responding to this, but what the heck -- it's a slow day...

    Blockquoth the poster:

    By advocating such blatently heathen, Atheist ideas as "transplanted our conscioussness into some form of computer technology." you are advocating the refusal to acknowledge the wisdom and will of our Lord.
    Personally, I think it's pretty arrogant to assume that you (or anyone) knows "the wisdom and will of our Lord". Life has changed in the past 2000 years and yet very few updates have come down from Heaven as to how to live. Even if you believe that the New Testament is the revealed Word, you should be able to see that God always chose to speak in the metaphors and memes comprehensible at the time. If He'd mentioned "transferring consciousness to a computer", it would've sounded like gibberish. Actually, it'd sound a lot like assumption into Heaven... Hmmm.

    If you accept evolution, then humans using their brains (even for -- gasp! -- technology) is simply part of natural selection. If you're an evolutionary deist, then humans using their brains is a culmination of God's design. If you're a creationist, then it's silly to oppose technological innovation: You're alleging that God put a massive, wonderful, functioning brain in (nearly) every human, for the sole purpose of us ignoring it?? That's horribly inelegant.

    I am amused and saddened by how many people believe that God is limited by their imaginations.

  • Looking through a lot of results there are very few games where both sides score. I'm not sure whether that means anything significant about the rules of the game or not...
  • You know, i would agree with you except this one fact: i know many girls who play rugby. Therefore, your comparison is incorrect. Perhaps better would be to say: American football is nothing more than a pansy narcissist's rugby, has its own World league, in which no other countries participate. Just a thought :)

    -Elendale (of course, non-american football is where its at!)

  • Man can create, but only God can give life and a soul to a being. This is something that man will never be able to do, as man can never be God.

    So growing an internal organ and placing it into a body successfully is not giving life to a creation? Granted, a liver might not have a 'soul' (assuming a body does) but where do you draw the line? What if in 5 years we can grow any major organ and replace them in a human successfully? What if we can grow entire bodies, transplant a brain and have that person function successfully after the operation?

    What if we grow a body in a test tube environment that grows up and leads a normal life? In your doctrine this person will never be in Heaven because that person was not created by God, he/she does not have a Soul. Where do you draw the line?

    God will never allow us to endow machines with intelligenc

    Never? I'd be careful when using the word never. That was the point I was making in the original post. Fundamentalists have been crying Never for a long time, and they have been silenced in the past. They would like us to forget that they ever preached such nonsense, but not everybody forgets. How can you say never? We are quickly heading down a path where the distinction between machine and biological material are VERY blurry.

    There are a lot of what ifs out there, and that isn't changing very fast, the what ifs are only getting more and more vast. The other battlecry I hear is this:

    Yes, okay we COULD technically invent those things and do those actions, but God will come back first and end this astrocity from ever happening.

    Right. That claim failed the test of time as well.

    I advise you to read The Ten Commandments Site to learn the truth, and begin your path on the road to enlightenment and rightousness.

    I've been down that path once before and it left a stale taste in my mouth.

  • The Toronto Bluejays won the World Series two years in a row, a few years back. You're not suggesting that Toronto is somehow American, are you?
  • Yes, but the winner of the Super Bowl is called the "World Champion"!

  • From the "What is.." page of the official site

    "These robots have been provided by Sony especially for this event. The internal workings of each robot, however, are determined by the RoboCup programmers who prepare them. Programmers cannot modify the robots' physical hardware; "

    So.. acording to Sony, the "internal workings" means the... programing? The contestants are not alowed to change the iner mechanical workings of the robots or the external apearence. Free add for Sony anyone? BattleBots VS Little Sony Doggie?

  • What's really amusing is that all you god-fearing weaklings post as anonymous cowards, which just goes to demonstrate how spineless you all really are. :)
    Have a nice day.
    [Moderators, this post is not Flamebait, or Troll, it is Insightful, or possibly Funny... unless your name is Jerry Farwell. :)]
    --- 'dex
  • No, see below.

  • The "World League" of American Football, an attempt ca. 1990 by the NFL to spread the game to other countries, has become known as the NFL Europe. Yes, this is a bit of an oxymoron, as NFL stands for National Football League, but since all the remaining teams (and most of the original teams) are located in Europe, it is a bit more correct. Here [] is a web site where you can read about NFL Europe, and here [] is the official site.
  • Thank you for that vivid demonstration of the power of memes. It's just like having an unfrozen 4,000-year old Hebrew prophet in our midst!

    I'm emailing you the Snow Crash virus under separate cover.

  • The sad part about it is that there was such disparity in the abilities of the teams that most of the matches were shutouts, and some entire brackets consisted of nothing but shutouts. In the "simulation league" only a few matches had goals scored by both sides, with "normal" scores like 1-1 or 4-2, while dozens of other matches were shutouts, often with large scores of 15-0 or worse. In the "small size" league, played on a small field with a smaller ball, for 20 minutes, one of the matches ended with a score of 66-0. They must have been spending most of the time pulling the ball out of the goal.
  • One of the most difficult obstacles to constucting a [true, self-replicating] Von Neumann machine is the materials science aspect - how to turn raw collected mass into the extremely complex list of processed materials needed for subsequent production of new machines (and their control systems).

    Currently, genetic enginnering and nanotechnology together form the leading contender for the systems needed to fabricate such complex systems from raw materials.

    Remember, a Von Neumann machine is not a simple exploration robot - its a robot that carries aroud with it a refinery, smelting plant, forge, machine shops, semiconductor equipment (crystal growth, deposition, die stepper, tester, ATE) ect. ad nauseum.

    While I don't agree with some of your other extrapolations (meat sacks may be around for quite a long time, the nature of consciousness seems more complicated that we suspected just a few decades ago...), nanotech is likely to be the only practical technology to build these machines for the next century or two...
  • After all, the future of the human race may depend on robotic systems. No, I'm not joking, I'm talking about Von Neumann machines, which will one day be our route to colonising the entire Universe without any of the troubles caused by transporting meat sacks throughout the cosmos.

    Von Neumann? As in "data and program together but the processor is separate"? At least my brain doesn't work like that...

    Finally, we would be free of the things that hold us back - mortality, hatred, love and fear. Rather than spending all of our time fighting amongst ourselves in petty dominance contests we can acheive our manifest destiny amongt the stars.


    This is why the US needs to push foward with research into this area, rather than more "glamorous" areas like nantechnology. We need to get our machines launched before anyone else in order to get to their destinations first. In the game of survival, first come is definitely first served.

    So much for "petty dominance contests"... (or was that irony?). Anyway: Native Americans, Aboriginies and the people of Alderaan all were first, too...

  • It warms my heart to see that even the nutty transhumanists who can't tell the difference between fantasy and reality don't take themselves seriously enough to login or even create a dummy account. Let me save this futurist bullshit on the mini-tapepunch machine [] in my flying car or I'll just have the robot butler/babysitter/security-guard [] do it for me.

    Hit pause on your Star Trek marathon tape and try to join us in the real world, ok Spock? I like sci-fi too, but extrapolating one idea or two to their irrational end to produce some lame Star Trek-esque fantasy is simply not convincing. memepool [] recently posted a similiar rant.
  • Funniest thing I've seen on slashdot in ages.
  • by GypC ( 7592 ) on Tuesday September 05, 2000 @03:18AM (#805213) Homepage Journal

    Are they robotic too?

    "Free your mind and your ass will follow"

  • It's an occupational hazard, some of my clients are VCs and fund managers. Sorry to have complicated the discussion with facts.

    My point was just that if the poster I replied to had the idea that Slashdot was a non-commercial organization of some kind (he didn't actually say what he was thinking), then he hasn't been paying attention.

    BTW, careful who you call a jackass. I might have been that 20-24 year-old dominatrix you're seeking.

  • When will this sport get into the Olympics?
  • In Australia, where the robosoccer games were played, Football refers to Aussie Rules, a very different game to either Soccer or American Rules Football (also known as Grid i believe???)
  • Is this kind of like those "Battle Bots" on Comedy Central?
    Rock 'n Roll, Not Pop 'n Soul
  • Actually, soccer came first, and rugby (and American football, for that matter) came about as bastardizations. Some people couldn't resist picking up the ball. :)

    The term soccer came from British schoolboys - association football -> "soc"cer (refers to the player). Similer to how rugby players are called "ruggers", and the came can be called rugger.

    So, originally, soccer was a snobbish upper-class term for association football, and football was the term used by the unwashed masses.


  • by AbbyNormal ( 216235 ) on Tuesday September 05, 2000 @03:26AM (#805219) Homepage
    It would be cool if you gave them guns like that other security robot a while back. Then they could act like Rap stars.

  • You're thinking of something unnecessarily complex with your skating robot. Watch robotic Football (I'm British, OK?) and you'll see they don't normally have legs or kick the ball. They use wheels or tracks and push.

    I'd be interested to see an Ice Hockey robot too, but I can't see why you should make it skate. My instinct would say rubber tank tracks would be best.

    As an aside, I can't see it'd be too difficult to convert a Football robot to Ice Hockey, as the games as they'd be played by the robots are pretty similar.

    Anyway. If you want a more interesting challenge, robotic table tennis has been attempted for years, with varying degrees of success. You might be able to manage a simplified form of volleyball.

    Vechicle sports - car, bike, boat, plane racing - aren't too hard, TBH. Collision avoidance is a pretty big challenge, though ;)

    If we want to go for individual sports, ski-ing in its various forms would be interesting. Slalom racing would require precision of movement, downhill speed of reactions and stability like little else. Cross-country would be an interesting test of flexibility and (potentially) endurance. Jumping would be interesting, but the potential for someone to simply build a hang-glider and rather spoil the whole event is there... You'd probably need to limit it to humnanoid robots. Still, the speed and precision of reaction needed would make it interesting.
  • Um, is that really correct? My reading (and the pictures shown) seem to indicate that the winning team, like all (?) other, used AIBO hardware--it's the software that differs between the teams...
  • We (organic life forms in general, humans in specific) are an interesting mix. We've got this wonderful advanced logical capacity (well, some of us do) and we have the more primitive stuff like fear that keeps us in line and love that keeps us willing to live. We're all incredibly complex organic quantum computers, if you think about it. I don't see why we couldn't be based on silicon etc rather than carbon et al. But would such "hardware" really prevent us from having emotion? No simulated neural network has developed any such qualities yet, but I think that the only real blasphemy comes from doubting our own capacity and creativity.

    I don't know if we're "destined" to evolve beyond our mortal organic bodies, but I believe that most of us will see truely alive artificial beings in our time. And I know that any God who'd endow us with minds that allow us to even discuss these things would be embarassed by the bible-thumping, "you're-going-to-hell"-slinging mentality that's somehow gotten posted on a site devoted to freedom of thought.
  • I have posted comments regarding Bible literalism
    on the so-called "10 Commandments site" mentioned.
    Unfortunately, the registry there is very limited
    in size and could not retain the comments.

    I therefore sent Mr Lee e-mail with the problems
    I see with his approach.

    What I don't understand is why Mr Lee bothers to
    read Slashdot, unless he's trolling for a fight.

  • by Corty ( 186595 ) on Tuesday September 05, 2000 @03:24AM (#805224)
    They may be able to score goals, but are they able to fall on the ground acting as if they are in agony at the slightest graze by an opponent?

    or better yet can they pick up pop stars??

  • Yes! Now we're on to something; Meld these Robocup teams with the sawbladed, chainweilding, tougher than nails battlebots, put them under rules of the NHL and you've got a great new violent sport which people can get into. Not sure if the ice is REALLY necessary, but I understand the challenge.

    Huh huh huh huh...that would be cool..

  • by Anonymous Coward

    After all, the future of the human race may depend on robotic systems. No, I'm not joking, I'm talking about Von Neumann machines, which will one day be our route to colonising the entire Universe without any of the troubles caused by transporting meat sacks throughout the cosmos.

    Indeed, by the time we get to that stage we may be able to avoid the messiness of organic life altogether, and have transplanted our conscioussness into some form of computer technology. Finally, we would be free of the things that hold us back - mortality, hatred, love and fear. Rather than spending all of our time fighting amongst ourselves in petty dominance contests we can acheive our manifest destiny amongt the stars.

    This is why the US needs to push foward with research into this area, rather than more "glamorous" areas like nantechnology. We need to get our machines launched before anyone else in order to get to their destinations first. In the game of survival, first come is definitely first served.

  • by mholve ( 1101 ) on Tuesday September 05, 2000 @03:29AM (#805227) Homepage
    How do you pronounce that in binary?
  • Um, yes. And it says so in the post, too:

    "consistently uses AIBO hardware."
  • Oops,... and I actually browsed their site before reading the terms of use too.

    Now that is an intresting problem. I must agree to their terms of use before browsing their site, but how can I read *them* without accessing the site?
    I'll just claim that I entered that URL first in case there was a legal notice I was supposed to read before browsing the rest of the site. Hm,... wonder if I may browse their 404 page?

    Guess I'll better never set foot in Japan.

  • They probably haven't mastered the schwalbe yet (technical term for what you just described) but they definitely can be sent of for ramming into an opponent.
  • Perhaps Zinedine Zidane was preocupied elsewhere...

  • To keep it on topic... American football would be difficult for a robot to handle. It would need to use its arms to carry and pass, so it would either need to be bipedal or maybe still four-legged but with an extended torso, something like the legendary centaur. THAT would be impressive! I can't even fathom how you could give the robot enough dexterity to catch.

    By the way, it's the National Football League, not the International. Hence, only American teams.

  • God wasn't going to allow us to land on the moon either. It would be perverse for our sinful feet to ever touch the soil of the pure heavens.

    "...One giant leap for mankind."

    God wasn't going to allow us to send anything out of the solar system either, on the same grounds. Our dirty sinful machines, our dirty sinful bodies would never be able to escape this prison we are in, this solar system. Hey, according to the Bible even Satan can't leave earth.

    How far away is Voyager now?

    God will never let us understand the things that make us who we are. We will never master genetics, we will never be able to perform molecular reconstruction because that would be creation and only God can create. It would be evil and perverse for a sinner race like ours to create things.

    Witness the completion of the Human Genome Project, and advanced experiments in the creation of objects on the molecular level. We are only decades(if that) from being able to stick a program into a machine and walk away with a new arm(heart/foot/eye/heck BODY), recently fabricated from 'thin air' before our eyes.

    God will never allow us to endow machines with intelligence, nor will he ever allow us to transfer our consciousness to anything other than the organic bodies we possess.

    Hmmm, it hasn't happened yet, but let's just put it this way, your fundamentalist sermons don't have a good track record SO FAR.

  • Actually, the old-style football was more of a "foot" ball game. Much rounder ball, and much more like rugby. Less passing, more pitching and tossing, and some fun kicks. Like the drop-kick. Overall, it was more like Australian rules football than anything alive today. So, back when things were being named, it was a foot game played with a ball. When the other foot game involving a ball came around, we had to name it something else. My little dictionary states:

    "Alteration of assoc., abbreviation of association football." So, I guess you were an "assoc-er", which evolved. 1889 or some such date as an origin.

    Having played all three sports (rugby, soccer/football, and American Football [in college]), I think the old-style American football was more fun. Of course, I was a lineman, and we do bloody nothing. It's like being a prop. If there's not a scrum, there's nothing going on.
  • I choose to believe that my love and my hate, and even my mortality, are those things that make me alive. Had I not my love, my hate, my fear... would I not be a robot? A complex, learning robot, but a robot just the same. Our emotions are what separate us from every other living thing and every creation humans have made to date.

    Manifest destiny my arse. It can take a flying leap - if things like love are petty, what is really worth the effort?

  • the title for this article is really dumb: "Aibo blown away" ALL the robots in the competition were Aibos, so one team of Aibos was compteting against another... it wasn't some robot engineered especially for soccer/football "blowing away" the AIBO
  • What other country has delivered the freedoms and benefits that America has?

    Freedoms such as having 25% of the worlds prisoners, but only 5% of the world population. Putting people in prison for concentual crimes (sex, drugs) while letting murders, rapists, and other violent offenders out.

    Benefits such as having one of the highest murder rates. A low literacy rate. Children without medical care. High teen pregnancy rate.

    Ah yes, I can see why you would say we are the best of humanity.
  • in which no other countries participate.

    Um... Japan?

    Sure, it's a kind of token game, but Dallas plays there every year now.

  • So.. acording to Sony, the "internal workings" means the... programing? The contestants are not alowed to change the iner mechanical workings of the robots or the external apearence.

    In fact, the teams weren't even allowed to rip out the whole OS and replace it by something better - Sony doesn't provide the necessary details to directly address the hardware and forbids reverse engineering. Interestingly, it seems that RoboCup teams that rip out as much of Sony's software as possible get better results. According to a member of the team from Berlin this was a consistent pattern this year and last year.


  • I am amused and saddened by how many people believe that God is limited by their imaginations.

    Excellent quote. Is it yours?

  • it would be the following..../p 01000111 01101111 01101111 01101111 01101111 01101111 01101111 01101111 01101111 01101111 01100001 01100001 01100001 01100001 01100001 01100001 01100001 01100001 01100001 01100001 01100001 01100001 01101100 /p I go with the traditional 0=oo sound and 1=l /p a catchy beat if ooled appropriately...
  • Last time I checked, Canada is on the North AMERICAN continent.
  • not certain where my brain was re the /ps
    need coffee..or sleep
  • Animals do indeed feel emotion. And, IMO, they should not be treated as "less" than human, as the vast majority of them are today. Because they are NOT less than human. They are merely different, their intelligence and wisdom is different from ours, but it is not non-existant.

  • OK, imagine that you've copied your consciousness to a machine of some sort. Now you have TWO of you! At this point of course, the "useless" organic you should be disposed of, but somehow I don't think that would be very nice for you.
  • If they could reprogram AIBO to the point in which it has an AI for playing soccer then I guess there must be a way (compilers etc) to do it other than the toy software that one can buy to program some moves.
    If only it didn't cost 2.5K and it wasn't impossible to find (unless you wander around the streets of Akihabara).

    P.S. Italy came in 2nd in the F-2000 league losing to Germany at the penalty kicks sounds almost like a human soccer world cup 8)
  • You subject line advances a flawed hypothesis - accelerating into the event horizon of a black hole, all elements are fair game for being vaporized, heated to plasma, and torn apart at the subatomic if not quantum level. This applies to organic compounds just as much as inorganics, gravity has no favorites and no compound is strong enough to resist those gravatational tidal forces. Someday we may learn how to shield machines from this, but that is a different argument.

    the durability and precision of robotic machines will always be greater

    One of the more interesting properties of organic materials is that they are far more resilient in the long term. If you bend a metal bar far enough, the bend is permamanant. Increase the stiffness of the bar, and the same load can shatter the metal beam. Organic systems are similar, except they hold more stress, without permanant deformation, at signifigantly less weight. If they do break, they can heal themselves (with the assistance of nearby and integrated systems.)

    Also noteworthy is that a properly functioning organic joint operate at far lower wear levels than even the best mechanical ones. Nearly all aspects of moving systems are more efficient in organic systems. Show me ANY pump that can operate at the reliability levels of the human heart! At its size/weight/power/load/output statistics, I dare you to try and show me a pump with 1/1000 of its MTBF rating. 1/100000 even?

    I would argue that inorganic augmentation allows organic systems to incorportate the best of both worlds, and the likely end result is a more efficient hybrid.

  • >or better yet can they pick up pop stars?? They sure can, just look at the new Janet Jacksson video...
  • So what's your point? The country was named for the continent, not the other way around. Sure, not much will happen to you if you piss off Canada, but be aware that that's what you're doing.
  • Here [] is their page, if anyone is interested.
  • he didn't actually say what he was thinking

    good point.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    avoid the messiness of organic life altogether

    Obviously, you've never been "inside" a female zebra! It's kinda messy, but you won't even worry about that, trust me:-)

    Finally, we would be free of the things that hold us back - mortality, hatred, love and fear

    Ok, fine. Mortality I agree with, hatred I agree with, but love and fear? Those are essential. Also - it would be preferable to replicate biological life inside digital life rather than go with digital life directly. After all, in a pseudo-ecosystem we could still have sex with hot female zebras, but not have to worry about death etc etc. Only hackers.
  • Nah, this can't be serious, after winning both the World and Eurpean Cups, the French team
    Les 3 Mousquetaires,Laboratoire de Robotique de Paris, is only second :)

  • A Robot bone or sugar to reward AIBO ?
    They dream of it so Sony'll make it !
  • by guran ( 98325 ) on Tuesday September 05, 2000 @03:37AM (#805255)
    ... or did you really submit an application [] before linking to sony?
    Or did you perhaps "access and browse" their site without checking their terms of use? []

    Oh no! Now Sony will firewall *slashdot* in my computer!

  • Have to get the angle griders out if Sony isn't sponsoring the Olympics since non-approved logos aren't allowed.


  • I've actually found that my AIBO actually likes red Jelly Babies, as they seem to have a similar affect to the standard pink ball that she plays with.
  • Whilst I do not want to get into a pointless flame war over this point I do not think that you can possibly point to a society with a high murder rate and barbaric punishments such as the death penalty as a peak of civilisation. In terms of freedoms and benifits it would appear that the USA is on a par with Europe, but not really ahead in any way. Conditions are not like those in the dark ages over here - you just like to think that so as you can maintain the moral justification to intervene wherever and whenever you like. As for the "American Dream" - you really think that this is a dream only Americans can/do have. Get real.
  • what I'm saying is that the winners should be called USA/Canadian Champions and not _World_ Champions.

    Canada is American allright, and so is Panama, Brazil and Surinamme.

    US people refere to US as "America". That's what's wrong.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's law.
    When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind him that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate.
    I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some of the specific laws and how to best follow them.

    When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord (Lev. 1:9). The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. How should I deal with this?

    I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as it suggests in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

    I also know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness (Lev. 15:19-24). The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

    Now I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?

    Then, Lev. 25:44 states that I may buy slaves from the nations that are around us. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans but not Canadians. Can you clarify?

    A friend of mine also feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination (Lev. 10:10), it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this?

    And Lev. 20:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?

    I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am confident you can help.
    Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.
  • Yes! Now we're on to something; Meld these Robocup teams with the sawbladed, chainweilding, tougher than nails battlebots, put them under rules of the NHL and you've got a great new violent sport which people can get into. Not sure if the ice is REALLY necessary, but I understand the challenge.
  • Bleeding art liberals? Is that really what you think the phrase is?

    I suppose you think it's "old wise tales," too.

    How to tell stories... []


  • Now I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?

    Hmmm... I read Exodus 35:2 to say, "Each week, work for six days only. The seventh day is a day of total rest, a holy day that belongs to the LORD. Anyone who works on that day will die."

    It's rather meaningless. We're all going to die someday.

    I wonder about Exodus 35:3 and "Do not even light fires in your homes on that day."

    I assume that this means no cooking and no light. Are you prohibited from using electric stoves/ovens and electric light or is the prohibition strictly against the use of flame?

  • The "teen pregnancy rate" is even higher if you take into account that 1 in 3 pregnancies end in abortion as the TPR only accounts for the ones that come to term (plus miscarriages, can't remember). 4000 plus abortions per day in the united states and ~half are performed on women before the age of 25 with the highest being amongst women in college.
  • ADDENDUM-Bad-Taste-Joke:

    Snoop Dog anyone?

    Sorry, it just HAD to be said. (Even though I forgot it in the first post).

  • How can you possibly state that we need robotics to guarantee the survival of the human race and then launch into some sort of devisive nationalistic rant about the good ol' US of A needing to get their first. Are you really so arogant as to believe that the USA represents all of humanity, or even all that is good about humanity. If you were trully interested in the fate of the race you would put aside your nationality and support research and humnity, no matter what its location.
  • These puppies could be programed to like anything as a reward like DEA dogs like a rubber ball. That's the fun of programming a response. I wish the events got more TV time. They are amazing to watch. It would be better than that silly brother something show.
  • by Hmpf! ( 40209 ) on Tuesday September 05, 2000 @03:44AM (#805268)
    The current problem with robocup is that you can win quite easily by devoloping some new "gimmick" like a new walking technique. Iran for instance in the middle sized league has a robot that can turn it's wheels so that it drives in a cirkel around the ball until it's pointing in the right direction and drives of with the ball( turning its wheels into the traight position again ).
    Most universities however are more interested in letting real robot's do higher level strategy and therefor use standard robots. You can write much more interesting reasearch papers about strategy and communications between autonomous robots, than you can about a set of turning wheels. Therefor the iranian team was last years world champion and this years european champion (it was an open championship :) ) with almost no budget to speak of. They beat the combined effort of something like 5 italian universities because the italians where using mostly standerd robots. So until a "standard" robot has emerged that has all the good gimmicks we will not sea a real competion between the (robot)intelligience of the differant teams.

God helps them that themselves. -- Benjamin Franklin, "Poor Richard's Almanac"