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||Thursday, July 26,
Robots on campus
By KEVIN CONNOR, EDMONTON
A group of U of A
computer science students has created robots that could one
day colonize Mars - but first they are taking them to a
Seattle competition to play soccer.
competition, sponsored by international computer researchers,
will be attended by competitors from Japan, England, the
United States, Germany, Iran and Australia. This is the first
time Canada is taking part in the computerized soccer event.
The five University of Alberta
soccer-playing robots - one goalie and a pair of defence and
forward players - have their own brains and operate
A camera aimed at the soccer field, the
size of a ping-pong table, is hooked up to a computer program
which sends messages to the round black robots, letting them
know where the ball is and what other players are doing.
"It's like they all have little cellphones and they
talk to each other," said Sean Verret, one of the students
heading to the Seattle competition.
Figuring out new
ways to have computers work together towards a common goal is
the competition's objective, said Hong Zhang, a computing
science professor at the U of A.
The computers could
be used for mine-sweeping exercises, he added.
could send 10,000 of them to Mars on a mission. If half of
them died during the mission, the last 5,000 could still work
to its completion," he said. "Working in co-ordination makes
computers more efficient."
The competition runs from
Aug. 1 to 10.
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