Judah vs. the Machines: Robots are still laughably awful at playing soccer

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Robots may have the upper hand on math and science, and pretty much everything else we learn using computers, but when it comes to athletics, no one can kick around a ball quite like a human can.

In this installment of Judah vs. the Machines, actor Judah Friedlander heads to the University of Miami to see how the school’s RoboCanes robotic soccer team fares in a challenge against his own soccer abilities.

Friedlander met with Dr. Ubbo Visser, who works as a software developer on the RoboCanes project. In Visser’s mind, the soccer team project is focused on the broader functions of the limits in how robots think and how bipedal humanoids are able to move and work together.

“We’re playing soccer to identify how much new technology we need to create and we need to develop in order to have a fully autonomous team of humanoid robots and humanoid embodiments,” Visser told Friedlander.

It’s clear that these robots aren’t quite Boston Dynamics-level mobile, and it would probably take about 10,000 of these to even have a dream of taking out Sarah Connor. This being the case, Judah doesn’t actually suit up to play against the pint-sized, electro-competitors. Instead he grabs a gamepad and controls one of the robotic footballers against three AI-controlled opponents.

Check out the video above to see how Friedlander handles the responsibility of taking on robots as humanity’s all-star representative.

See all eight episodes of Judah vs. the Machines here.