CAMBRIDGE, MASS. (WHDH) - Researchers at MIT’s “Improbable Artificial Intelligence Lab” recently unveiled a new robot that plays soccer. 

Not just fun and games, the new creation comes from hard work that one student described in a recent interview with 7NEWS.

“If you see a robot doing something cool in a video, it’s because a human said ‘I want the robot to do this thing,’” MIT student Gabriel Margolis said. 

The Cheetah DribbleBot is a legged robotic system that can dribble a soccer ball under the same conditions as humans, using onboard sensors to travel across different types of terrain. 

The robot can handle a ball in sand, gravel, mud and snow, even adapting to the way different surfaces impact the ball’s motion. 

Despite the technology, researchers said the robot is no World Cup star. 

“It’s much worse,” MIT Assistant Professor Pulkit Agrawal said. “That’s one thing people should not take away — that these robots are in any way comparable to human players.”

Still, the robot can do more than just handle a ball. 

Engineers said DribbleBot can get up and recover the ball after falling, marking a major step forward that researchers said could lead to even more highly-developed machines. 

“It’s satisfying to see how your robot is doing,” Agrawal said. “But then, after that moment of satisfaction, you realize everything that is not working and that motivates you to build a better version in the future.”

Some in the robotics field said it’s possible we could see a robot that plays soccer as well as a human by as early as 2050.

(Copyright (c) 2023 Sunbeam Television. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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