Don’t believe me? Let’s take Switzerland as an example, where the National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) Robotics will be hosting an event in 2016, modeled after the Olympics, in which the athletes are bionic in some way – or better yet, cyborgs. This event is being dubbed the Cybathlon! Just recently the Japanese government has announced plans to include robots in the 2020 Olympics, which will be hosted in Tokyo, Japan.
Granted, it wasn’t in their programming to actually express the will to win or in being sly, but we humans tend to gaze at these wonderful creations under an anthropomorphic point of view. I am no different from everyone else. When I watched the games, while at times repeating and slow, I acquired the tendency to feel adrenaline, excitement, and joy as these robots clashed for the ball. Each time one of them neared the goal line, just as if I was watching a human-played fútbol match, I would hold my breath in anticipation.
And that is what makes the RoboCup so enjoyable to watch. You’re not just watching a bunch of robots play a miniaturized version of fútbol; you’re witnessing the evolution of sports, of robotics, and of ourselves in how we look to them and treat them. In the world of sports, athletes are practically Gods. So when robots and cyborgs show up in the picture, who’ll be the Gods then? I, for one, welcome our new robot overlords!