It’s not the Premier League, and it wasn’t even close to MLS. But it may be soon. The future may have been on display in Tokyo on Sunday, as dozens of robots played soccer while others danced the samba and cheered them on.
The robots have yet to master the grace of soccer and were mechanical in their movements. As part of the “Robot Athletic Meet 2007” the robots and their owners were on display for all. And, perhaps, their future domination.
Ken Senoh, chief organizer of the event, said robots might soon surpass humans with their physical prowess.The game was almost an afterthought to the largess of the games themselves. And while the robots may one day take over the world of sports from us wee humans, the game had more of a little league element to it: overprotective parents who didn’t want their “kids” playing.
"Today's robots are still toddlers, so to speak, in terms of their physical capabilities," said Senoh, a professor of advanced science and technology at the University of Tokyo.
"But it's only a matter of time that they will catch up with humans and eventually outrun us -- just in the same way personal computers, which were slow and not up to par until just a few decades ago, can now perform various tasks much faster than humans."
"It was a little scary. They were bumping against each other very hard," said Fumiko Kaneyama, 56, of the soccer match.
"I'm not going to let my son play a game like that," she said, referring to her robot dog.