The team 'AUSTRO' robots were developed by the Vienna University of Technology (TU Vienna) and are strong contenders for the Euroby 2008 title. AUSTRO and their opponents the Dortmund Droids were playing in a preliminary round in the middle-sized class of the competition in Zurich. This meant each side fielded five players could be no more than 7.5cm cubed in size.
The fast-paced game has two halves of five minutes, with a 10-minute interval. Like rugby, a timekeeper pauses the clock during substitutions and transporting injured robots off the field. The game is controlled by the team's computer and not a remote control. The team has a manager who determines game strategy, the coach who works at the computer and the trainer who arranges the robots on the field. A camera is mounted above the field and delivers 60 pictures per second to each team's computer.
The coach can use this to determine the position and direction of all the robots and then send motion commands to the players. A spokesman for the event said: 'Robot football may seem at first glance like a bunch of guys messing around with gadgets, but the scientific insights gained form the basis for future industrial applications such as in factories and hospitals.' There are now more than 150 robot teams playing around the globe. The first international robotic football tournament was played in 1995 and major events are organised by the Federation of International Robosoccer Association (FIRA). The EUROBY 2008 finals are set for June 19-22, 2008 in Linz, Austria.