POSCO Breathing New Life into Sports with Robot Soccer

Article excerpt

Pohang Iron and Steel Co.(POSCO) has done many innovative things in the past, but it has excelled itself this time, putting together a soccer tournament in which the players are none other than robots.

``It is a classic convergence of sports and technology and it should attract keen attention from Koreans and foreigners in all sectors of society and industry,'' a POSCO official said.

The two-day event, called the 1st FIRA (Federation of International Robot-Soccer Associations) Korea Cup, opens today at the Weightlifting Gymnasium of the Olympic Park in southern Seoul.

A total of 37 teams will be participating in the inaugural event which is supported by a number of government agencies, including the Ministries of Science and Technology, Commerce, Industry and Energy and Information and Communication.

The game, new to most people, was first introduced in Korea by Prof. Kim Jong-hwan of the Electrical and Electronic Engineering Department of the Korea Advanced Institute for Science and Technology (KAIST) in 1995.

It is played on a wooden competition arena measuring 1.3 meters by 1.5 meters with three robots, measuring 7.5 centimeters all around, being fielded by each side for five minutes each way.

``Robot soccer introduces some of the most advanced electronic engineering technology and yet it can be played by virtually anyone with plenty of fun,'' the POSCO official said. …