Robot playing football

Robot playing football

The football-playing robot is due to take part in an international tournament this year - and experts say it's even better than Lionel Messi.

A 132 cm humanoid named Artemis can walk and jump and is one of only three robots around the world that can run.

Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles call Artemis an anagram for "a robot that beats Messi at football."

Dennis Hong, Director of the Robotics and Mechanics Lab: "We are thrilled to be hosting Artemis for field trials here at UCLA, and we see this as an opportunity to advance science, technology, engineering, and mathematics to a much wider audience."

The human-sized robot will demonstrate its football skills as a rival at the French RoboCup23 as early as July this year.

Artemis walks at a record speed of 2.1 m/s and has since taken walks around campus as part of his training.

RoboCup23 will bring together 2,500 participants from 45 countries to take part in a range of football-related competitions.

Robots of all sizes can compete in a variety of leagues, including a "small size" league for bots as tall as 12 cm, and a humanoid league for those as tall as kids, teens, and adults.

RoboCup23 founder Hiroaki Kitano suggested almost 30 years ago that robots could play on the field with humans by 2050.

Artemis' football abilities will be more thoroughly tested in the coming weeks in addition to his ability to get up off the ground and carry objects.

Dr. Hong claims the 38.5kg robot is "the first of its kind" to use technology that allows it to behave as if it has "bouncy" biological muscles instead of rigid parts like other robots.

“This is the key to his excellent balance when walking on uneven terrain and his ability to run – getting both feet off the ground as he moves,” he added.

Artemis is just one of a handful of robots developed by UCLA. There is also a firefighter Saffir, made in 2014, and Thor, designed for disaster relief.

Christina DENISYUK.

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