Robots are terrible at soccer, in 13 photos


Two teams of robots play against each other in the 2014 RoboCup German Open on Thursday in Magdeburg, Germany. (Jens Schlueter/Getty Images)

The RoboCup German Open is a remarkable event in which robots attempt to play soccer (emphasis on attempt). They often waddle around in circles instead of finding the ball. Sometimes they crash to the ground, or cluelessly walk off the field. Then caretakers rush the field to prop them up or point them in the right direction.

Robots may be taking our jobs in the future, but professional soccer players appear to have nothing to worry about. Check out more photos and a video of the mayhem below.


The robots perform autonomously and communicate with one another via WLAN. (Jens Schlueter/Getty Images)

A robot from a German team, left, plays the ball besides a British team robot. (Jens Meyer/AP)


Robots of the German team ‘B-Human,’ left, and a team from the Iranian Quazvin Azad University vie for the ball during a soccer match. (Jens Wolf/EPA)

There are 950 participants from 12 countries in the the three-day tournament that compete in a variety of disciplines, including soccer, rescue and dance. (Jens Schlueter/Getty Images)

These robots, which are models called Nao, are manufactured by Aldebaran Robotics. (Jens Schlueter/Getty Images)

Two robots fight for possession of the ball. (Photo by Jens Schlueter/Getty Images)

Here’s a wide shot of the 2014 RoboCup German Open tournament. (Photo by Jens Schlueter/Getty Images)

The pace of play is slow due to the limits of what the robots are capable of. (Jens Schlueter/Getty Images)

A robot of German team ‘B-Human’ kicks a ball. (EPA/Jens Wolf)

Two robots clash as they attempt to control the ball. (Jens Schlueter/Getty Images)

Teams from 12 countries participate in competitions. (Jens Meyer/AP)

Participants check on robots. (Photo by Jens Schlueter/Getty Images)
Matt McFarland is the editor of Innovations. He's always looking for the next big thing. You can find him on Twitter and Facebook.
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