Soccer-playing robots take the field in annual competition

These soccer stars are very dependable — if not a little robotic — on the field.

The 2019 RoboCup, the world’s largest annual robotics competition, kicked off Thursday in Australia with robot teams from 30 countries vying in events including soccer, search-and-rescue missions, manufacturing and logistics and home-assistance challenges.

Created in 1997, the tournament is designed to advance robotics and artificial intelligence to a level capable of besting humans.

In terms of soccer, the goal is to have the robots beat their most talented human counterparts — the World Cup champs — by 2050.

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