What do Louis Vuitton, Robots, and Soccer all have in common? The 2005 RoboCup Osaka, where 400 teams from 35 countries faced off in various competitions over the course of 5 days for the purpose of fostering AI and robotics research globally. In addition to soccer, this years competition saw two new categories added: The rescue category, aimed at improving hazardous rescue bot tech, and the junior category, added to promote bot building amoung the kids.
Each event was broken down into small-size, medium-size, and 4-legged leagues, along with the Louis Vuitton sponsored humanoid league. The robot designs ranged from typical battlebot drones and reprogrammed AIBOs to full-on star wars droids.
Team Osaka, who took the taco in the Louis Vuitton Humanoid Cup, recieved the championship trophy which was delivered in a leather carrying case plastered with enough of the ubiquitous LV pattern to draw a small crowd of squealing harajuku shoppers.
Competition results and photos of the action are posted over at robocup.org -JM