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Missing The World Cup? There’s Still The RoboCup, The World Cup for Robots

It’s been nearly a month since Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez bit Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini on the shoulder in a stadium in Brazil (or, in Suarez’s words “suffered the physical result of a bite in the collusion he suffered with me”). But this week, just a little more than a hundred miles south of where that game took place, one Iranian soccer-playing robot in the RoboCup—the World Cup for robots—malfunctioned, falling on top of one of its Indonesian opponents and ripping off its arm.

Fouls work a little differently at the RoboCup, which for the past 17 years has invited teams of roboticists from all over the globe to pit their soccer-playing machines against one another. This year, the competition is taking place in a Brazilian conference center with a manmade pond and a building shaped like a space-age beard trimmer, where 2,200 human participants (and thousands more spectators) will finish competing for RoboCup titles today.

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"After I read about Google Glass and how we’re going to approach the situation … I’m a blind athlete, and to be able to wear the glasses and have the kids see through my eyes although I can’t even myself, that’s amazing to me," he says. I’m a jumper primarily. There’s a lot of things that go on with that, having someone basically directing me down this runway, and I’m running fast, he’s making calls on the fly. I think it would definitely be cool [for kids to] see how all of that happens, see what that would look like in a visual sense."
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"After I read about Google Glass and how we’re going to approach the situation … I’m a blind athlete, and to be able to wear the glasses and have the kids see through my eyes although I can’t even myself, that’s amazing to me," he says. I’m a jumper primarily. There’s a lot of things that go on with that, having someone basically directing me down this runway, and I’m running fast, he’s making calls on the fly. I think it would definitely be cool [for kids to] see how all of that happens, see what that would look like in a visual sense."

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"I literally see these robots skirting around the lab, and it was almost as if I had this huge flashback to Star Wars. If we are ever going to see robots like that, it’s going to start in a lab just like this, right now, right here.”
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"I literally see these robots skirting around the lab, and it was almost as if I had this huge flashback to Star Wars. If we are ever going to see robots like that, it’s going to start in a lab just like this, right now, right here.”

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Director Mike Cahill on how iris-scanning technology, Richard Dawkins, and a TED talk inspired his new film, I Origins.

Cahill based Pitt’s Ian Gray character loosely on scientist Richard Dawkins. “The scanning of the color part of your eye has been around since 1987 when he figured out the algorithm and it’s been a slow-growing technology over the years. Nowadays in New York City if a person is arrested they get their eye scanned, babies in hospitals get their eyes scanned, you can go through the fast lane at the airport if you do your iris scan.”
The filmmaker became further sold on the power of iris scans after checking out a TED Talk by Jeff Carter. “He talks about how fingerprints only give you so many degrees of accuracy, where as the patterns in your eyes form when you’re in your mother’s womb and stay the same for you for your entire life,” Cahill notes. “From a technological standpoint, it’s a great way to ID a person. And since the eye has also enticed poets since the dawn of civilization, it seemed like a wonderful meeting place for two of my greatest passions—science and spirituality.”

Director Mike Cahill on how iris-scanning technology, Richard Dawkins, and a TED talk inspired his new film, I Origins.

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Cahill based Pitt’s Ian Gray character loosely on scientist Richard Dawkins. “The scanning of the color part of your eye has been around since 1987 when he figured out the algorithm and it’s been a slow-growing technology over the years. Nowadays in New York City if a person is arrested they get their eye scanned, babies in hospitals get their eyes scanned, you can go through the fast lane at the airport if you do your iris scan.”

The filmmaker became further sold on the power of iris scans after checking out a TED Talk by Jeff Carter. “He talks about how fingerprints only give you so many degrees of accuracy, where as the patterns in your eyes form when you’re in your mother’s womb and stay the same for you for your entire life,” Cahill notes. “From a technological standpoint, it’s a great way to ID a person. And since the eye has also enticed poets since the dawn of civilization, it seemed like a wonderful meeting place for two of my greatest passions—science and spirituality.”