Olympics for robots in Bristol

27.08.2012 - 16:17

This competition isn't between humans, though, it's between robots. A total of twenty six teams of robotics experts have met in Bristol, England, to test the bravery of their metal men in the 16th  edition of the  Federation of International Robotics Association (FIRA) RoboWorld Cup, which ends on Saturday.

Soccer is the main sport of the contest, but the robots - including one named "Usain Volt"- also compete in sprinting, basketball and weightlifting.

It is the first time that the event has been hosted in the UK and organisers say that they have had a record number of entries.

However, and as expected, there are differences between this competition and the one celebrated for humans. For instance, the mechanical athletes don't run 100 metres, they have to move three metres forward and three metres back.

Volt robot, which comes from Singapore, obtained a record when it made this distance in 31 seconds. On 1st September it will participate in the sprint final against home-grown favourites from Plymouth University.

Another local team, from Bristol University's robotics laboratory, is competing in the final of the marathon. But, the competition will be more difficult because teams don't know where the race will take place.

Some robots are called “decathletes” due to its participation in different categories. Besides, all of them must be autonomous, once they start the humans must be hands-off.

Dr Guido Herrmann, who founded the competition in 1996, believes that the event will attract tourism to the area and also will show “what Great Britain is capable of - both as event hosts and being pioneers of engineering."