RoboCup 2017: World Cup for robots kicks off this week

In 1995, roboticists Hiroaki Kitano, Minoru Asada, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Itsuki Noda, and Eiichi Osawa proposed a new initiative - a robotic world cup, where teams of robots competed in a soccer game. 

Two years later that dream was realised in the Japanese city of Nagoya, and has been held annually ever since in a variety of cities around the world. This year, it's coming back home to Nagoya, and it starts on 27 July 2017. 

Over the years, the programme has expanded significantly. It started with just a football competition, but now includes a whole bunch of different leagues to compete in. 

Football is still around - but now separated into humanoid, standard platform, middle size, small size and simulation categories. For the first time this year, there'll also be a penalty shootout challenge.

Out of Your League

Then there's the Industrial league, which features different logistics and work-related challenges. There's the Rescue league, which promotes simulations and robots aimed at developing rescue strategies for large-scale disaster scenarios. 

Theres the Robocup @Home league, which aims to apply technologies to people's everyday lives. And finally there's the Junior league, giving kids the opportunity to work on robotics projects.

If that wasn't enough for you, then there's a faintly ridiculous promotional video:

If you'd like to attend, tickets still seem to be on sale. A one-day ticket will cost you 1,000 yen, and a 4-day ticket is 2,000 yen.

Or, if Japan seems a bit far away, you can mark RoboCup 2018 in your calendar, which will be held in Montreal on June 15-22 2018.

Duncan Geere
Duncan Geere is TechRadar's science writer. Every day he finds the most interesting science news and explains why you should care. You can read more of his stories here, and you can find him on Twitter under the handle @duncangeere.