Watching robots trying to play football will make you feel a lot better about the future of humanity

Robots will one day take over the world, but first they need to learn to dribble like Leo Messi

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Stephen Hawking believes that robots will take over the world – but he clearly hasn’t seen them trying to play football.

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The 19th annual RoboCup, held in China earlier this week, is a chance for engineers to show off the latest advances in robot soccer skills.

So, are they ready to nutmeg Neymar? Well…

One day I will regret laughing at our soon-to-be mechanical masters, but right now the sight of little grey Cybermen waddling, passing, stumbling and shooting wide is just too adorable.

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To be fair to the teams taking part, the tech on show is genuinely impressive – but the gadgetry is let down by the sight of wannabe C-3POs falling over like toddlers on a sugar comedown every five seconds.

In the video by Mashable above, one of the engineers claims that “the goal is that by 2050 these robots will be able to compete and win in a soccer match against real humans.”

Challenge accepted.

Perhaps the most worrying take-away from this football Futurama is that the English robots have clearly been picking up tips from their fleshy counterparts: the British team from the University of Hertfordshire were knocked out in the second round.

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Maybe one day these little English humanoids will develop the artificial intelligence required to win a penalty shootout. Then I for one will welcome our new robot overlords.