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VIDEO: A good omen? The Irish team's goals in 'Euro 2012 for Robots'

If Robbie Keane’s hamstring gives way, maybe the folks at NUI Maynooth will be able to send a substitute automaton?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Ut0nBh4piY

(YouTube: )

THE GOALS ABOVE might not be quite as glamorous or beautiful as those we’re hoping for in Euro 2012, but at the very least, there’s a good omen for Ireland in here somewhere.

What you’re seeing above is the performance of Ireland’s robot soccer team, ‘RoboÉireann’, who recently finished as runners-up at the 2012 RoboCup, the annual European Robot Soccer competition held in Germany.

The format is identical to that of the European Championships themselves – with a group stage followed by a straight knock-out on the way to the final.

Having overcome a pretty nifty group – including Greece, Spain and Portugal – the Irish, a team put together by students and staff at the Departments of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science at NUI Maynooth – eventually made it all the way to the final before losing out.

As it happens, that old footballing cliche proves true in the robotic world too: you can never write off the Germans, whose ‘B-Human’ team (the reigning world champions) defeated the Irish in the final.

The team will be demonstrating RoboÉireann next Friday between 2pm and 4pm at the Hamilton Institute on the NUI Maynooth campus.

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Gavan Reilly

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