Hertfordshire’s robot football team to star at London’s Science Museum

PUBLISHED: 10:47 21 March 2017 | UPDATED: 10:47 21 March 2017

One of the robots in action.

One of the robots in action.


Members of the University of Hertfordshire’s robot football team, Bold Hearts, will be demonstrating their football skills at London’s Science Museum this Sunday.

Bold Hearts is a team of humanoid miniature sized robot footballers capable of diverse play, tackling, shooting, passing and picking themselves up after falls.

The robots are completely autonomous, and fully controlled by an on-board computer.

They are not allowed to be remotely controlled and have to make all decisions during the game on their own.

The team regularly competes in an international competition RoboCup, where thousands of autonomous robot teams from over forty countries compete in football matches against each other.

Bold Hearts is the longest continuously active Robocup team in the UK and one of the most successful, most recently winning the Iran Open in 2016.

Members are currently preparing to compete in this summer’s Robocup tournament in Japan.

The robots will displayed at the Balcony of the Science Museum as part of their Robots Revealed event series.

Visitors can watch the team in training and meet the roboticists and engineers behind the project.

Dr Daniel Polani, professor of artificial intelligence at the University of Hertfordshire and founder of Bold Hearts, said: “We are really excited to show our team of robot footballers to the public at London’s Science Museum this weekend.

“At the university we are fascinated by the AI challenges that football poses: how to make a machine understand what to do in a diverse sport such as football, without painstakingly setting out all possible scenarios under which it needs to operate, thereby moving away from the traditional approach where the details of how the robot should act are pre-specified.

“Demonstrating this to the public is a unique opportunity to promote robotics and AI research.”

Admission to the demonstration is free and will be held at the Robots Café in the Balcony of the Science Museum from 11am until 1pm and 2pm until 4pm on Sunday, March 26. And again on April 20 and 21.

To find out more visit http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/visitmuseum/plan_your_visit/events/demonstrations_and_experiments/robots-revealed/football-robots

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