Heads up, World Cup teams: The robots are coming

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By AP

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Updated: Thu, 10 Jul 2014 01:15:41 EST

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Heads up, World Cup athletes! The robots are coming — and their goal is to conquer the soccer field.

The international robot soccer tournament called RoboCup takes place in Brazil right after the World Cup. Teams from about 45 countries are competing.

The ultimate goal of the yearly event is bold: To create a robot team that can beat the human World Cup winners by 2050.

The machines still have a ways to go. They come in all shapes and sizes, from wheeled robots the size of a soccer ball to 5-foot-tall humanoids.

The idea is to program robots to make quick, smart decisions while working together in a changing environment.

Those are skills that could translate off the field for something more important — like a rescue mission.

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