Massachusetts Institute of Technology has built a dog-like robot named Dribblebot that can play football on grass, mud and sand.
According to the RoboCup international competition founded in 1996, football is a great way to put a robot’s locomotion, agility and decision-making to the test.
“Past approaches simplify the dribbling problem, making a modeling assumption of flat, hard ground,” co-lead of the project, Yandong Ji said in a post tied to the news.
“The motion is also designed to be more static; the robot isn’t trying to run and manipulate the ball simultaneously. That’s where more difficult dynamics enter the control problem. We tackled this by extending recent advances that have enabled better outdoor locomotion into this compound task which combines aspects of locomotion and dexterous manipulation together.” he added.
Inasmuch as Dribblebot can perform well on land, mud and grass, it has its own limitations.
Stairs and inclines are still a challenge for the robot.