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The Way Toddlers Waddle Can Teach Robot Footballers How to Play


Robots playing soccer.

New York University and the University of Texas at Austin researchers have determined that a team of robot football (soccer) players trained to mimic how infant humans walk can beat other robots trained on geometric walking patterns.

Credit: Getty Images

A team of researchers at New York University and the University of Texas at Austin has determined that a team of robot football (soccer) players trained to mimic how infant humans walk comprehensively can beat other robots trained on geometric walking patterns.

The researchers recorded the walking paths of 90 babies at play and used the data to create an hour-long training course in a three-dimensional simulator. Each humanoid robot was rewarded or penalized based on how well they followed the course.

A team of robots trained to walk similarly to infants then played teams trained on simpler, straight, square, and circular courses in a simulation of the RoboCup. Each team played every other team 1,000 times, with the infant-trained team finishing with 2,888 wins, 1,037 ties, and only 75 losses.

From New Scientist
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