But RoboCup does more than demonstrate how androids can put a ball between goal posts. Machines designed to play soccer can also be adapted to handle tasks that would be difficult or dangerous for humans, such as cleaning up nuclear wastes, exploring space, gathering military intelligence, or searching for survivors after disasters. RoboCup also has a robot rescue divisionparticularly relevant given the use of robots at the World Trade Center site last year. Robots in this league are tested on their abilities to find mannequins trapped inside a three-story building that has collapsed.
RoboCup teams play to win, but they're out to prove that robots can work in teams, communicate, and complete an assignment without human assistance.
"I am very interested in creating intelligent robots that are really like humans," said Veloso. "I suppose that might frighten some people, but I can't wait until they can learn to talk and co-exist with us and help with our daily tasks."
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