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Australian and Chinese Computer Dogs Face-Off in Exhibition

Somehow, I don't think our flesh-and-blood Dogsters need to worry about being displaced by these computer canines. This news was on News.com.au. Soccer robot dogs...

Joy  |  Nov 28th 2006


Robot Dogs Face Off In Soccer Match

Somehow, I don’t think our flesh-and-blood Dogsters need to worry about being displaced by these computer canines.

This news was on News.com.au.

Soccer robot dogs kick off

MARK Viduka, Harry Kewell, watch out! Robot dogs the size of bulldog pups are taking to the field in Perth in a robot soccer exhibition pitting two Australian teams against one from China.

The robot dogs are competing in the RoboCup Perth today at the University of Western Australia (UWA) as part of the International Symposium on Practical Cognitive Agents and Robots.

The soccer tournament is being held to celebrate 50 years of research in the field of artificial intelligence and help reverse falling enrollment rates in computer science and IT.

Each team has four dogs, with one goalie and three outfielders dressed in special stickers in the team’s colour and playing on a carpet-covered mini soccer pitch five metres by three.

Made of plastic, carbon fibre and electronics, the dogs are about the size of newborn bulldogs – like a smaller version of Dr Who’s trusty companion K-9 but without the laser.

Jay Jay Jegathesan, the manager of UWA’s School of Computer Science and Software, said the dogs have all the components of a Pentium computer.

“They are basically a Pentium computer, but in the shape of a dog, Mr Jegathesan said.

The dogs are designed to be totally independent once on the pitch; they react to the coming play and decide what to do next on their own.

“You program all the tactics into the dog, what to do if the opponent comes at you with the ball, how to attack the opponent, how do you score, all that is programmed into the mind of the dog, Mr Jegathesan said.

“There is no remote control at all, you program the dogs, you are the manager of the dogs and once they start playing they are on their own.”

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