Japan's humanoids scoop 1-0 win at RoboCup

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
UK team Bold Hearts failed to score

A team from Japan have won the child-sized humanoid football final at the RoboCup World Championships in China.

The Brains Kids, from the Chiba Institute of Technology, beat rivals ZJUDancer, from China's Zhejian University, 1-0.

Media caption,
Robot footballers sometimes have trouble standing up

The division contained England's only team of custom-built robots to qualify for the humanoid football play-offs.

But the University of Hertfordshire's Bold Hearts were defeated 2-0 in the second round by a French side.

Image source, youtube/yasuohayashibara
Image caption,
Japan's Brains Kids (shown in training) came out on top

The Robocup had a variety of categories to cater for different kinds of robot footballer.

China's Team Water was victorious in the Middle league for non-humanoid robots, beating Tech United, from the University of Eindhoven in the Netherlands.

'Stability challenges'

Many of the humanoid competition's rules had been changed for 2015, to make the game more difficult.

This year, the humanoids had to chase a white ball - harder to spot than the previous red one, and the playing surface had been changed to soft artificial turf, which caused stability problems for some of the teams.

The UK's Bold Hearts had hoped to improve their ranking after coming second in their division at the 2014 competition in Brazil.

The team blamed their goalless exit on "the aforementioned stability challenges, rather than high level defensive tactics", in a post on their blog.

Image source, AFP
Image caption,
Non-humanoid robots competed in their own league

Robocup has been running since 1997, and now more than 40 countries take part.

The competition is designed to drive innovation in the robotics industry, with the ultimate aim to hold a humans-versus-robots football match by 2050.