Germany Wins ‘RoboCup,’ the Robot Soccer World Cup

A cyber team from the University of Bonn won the trophy at RoboCup 2022 in Bangkok, and they didn’t even have to rely on penalties.

The University Institute of Science’s Team NimbRo had been fitted with new high-tech vision systems to help them spot the ball more accurately.

Astonishingly, they claim robot players are becoming so sophisticated they will be able to beat a human international team by 2050.

Bonn University’s squad walked away with the title for the Humanoid AdultSize class, defending their title.

Teams were judges on both head-to-head matches and displays of skills, like kicking balls over obstacles.

Soccer fans might find the video of the robots’ performance a bit like a slow-mo action replay, but there is no doubting their accuracy.

In one scene, a robot shuffles around the goal’s mouth as it calculates the perfect angle and scores as it hits the back of the net with a pinpoint strike.

Proud winners at the university said: “At the RoboCup World Championship in Bangkok, Thailand, Team NimbRo from the University of Bonn won the competition in the Humanoid AdultSize class and successfully defended their title.

“The human-like football [American soccer] robots were developed in the Autonomous Intelligent Systems working group at the Institute for Computer Science.

“They played with an improved vision system and advanced software, and were able to win numerous duels and dribble the ball quickly into the goal.”

Bonn retained its title as robot world champs, which were suspended for two years by the COVID pandemic.

But while they were waiting, the German side say they made breakthroughs in scoring technology.

The university said: “In the meantime, the Bonn team had completed another NimbRo OP2X robot.

“Four capable players were available for the competition.

“Three of the robots were fitted with a new, higher-resolution camera system, allowing them to see the ball, pitch lines and goalposts at greater distances.

“The performance of the on-board computer, which processes the images live and controls the robot’s behavior, has also been significantly increased.”

The new tech allowed the German side to dominate the contest winning one match against Korea 7-1.