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Germany wins football world cup
3rd Quarter 2010, Robotics & Mechatronics


Germany won the 2010 Robot Football World Cup in Singapore. The name of the goalkeeper who played in the 6:1 win over Australia was not Thomas Müller but Nao the robot. Rather than being powered by strong muscles, he drew his energy and flexibility from dynamic electro-motors provided by maxon motor. Over 500 teams from 40 countries took part in RoboCup 2010.

Nao defending in goal
Nao defending in goal

The RoboCup is the most important competition in the artificial intelligence and robotics world. The Standard Platform league’s ambitious aim is for a team of autonomous humanoid football robots to beat the incumbent human world champions in 2050.

The football playing robots in the Standard Platform League, a true programmer competition, were developed by the French company Aldebaran Robotics. The small but agile Nao is 58 cm high, weighs 4,3 kg and has 25 flexible joints that are all driven by precise maxon DC motors. He also has two cameras and a large number of sensors to enable him to find his way around. With this basic configuration, defenders, strikers and goalkeepers can, depending on their programmed DNA), recognise the infrared ball, plan moves and shoot at the goal.

Nao was designed not just for research purposes, but to be used as a home help in the future.


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