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June 22, 2017

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Taiwanese medal in Brazil's RoboCup

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- A high school representative team from Taiwan won two medals in RoboCup 2014 held in Brazil this week.

The two teams consisted of eight junior high school and high school students from seven schools including Saint Francis High School, Chenggong High School, Zhongzheng Junior High School, headed to Brazil to compete in the robot soccer games.

The RoboCup is an annual international robotics competition founded in 1997, with the goal to promote robotics and research into artificial intelligence by offering challenges while making the games exciting as well.

The main attraction of the robot competitions is having the robots engage in soccer matches, with all robots being fully autonomous. The ultimate goal of the competitions is to develop a team of fully autonomous humanoid robot soccer players that can beat a team of human players that have won the most recent World Cup series. A goal they hope to achieve by 2050.

After going through six matches and winning all of them, the Taiwanese teams won one gold and silver medal in the small size robot league and the standard platform league.

Stripped of Gold?

According to news channel TVBS, the team competing in the standard platform league was performing remarkably well and had the highest accumulative score until it was told that it did not meet the qualifications to compete in the final round. A parent of one of the team members allegedly claimed that the team was "stripped of the gold medal because the event organizer explained that it hoped for the gold medals to be distributed evenly instead of going to the same team."

The team eventually received a silver medal for "team competition."

In the small-size robot league, the Taiwanese team won after beating Canada at 10 to 2, later holding up the national flag during the medal presentation ceremony.

There were as many as 1,800 teams competing for the cup, and many teams are accustomed to fighting dirty, said a Taiwanese parent. "Like the time our students competed against the representative team of Shengzhen, they would try to distract the referees each time we scored; with 20 of them screaming that the last goal didn't count ... so we try to avoid being recognized during a match, because some people try to distract you once they know what team you are," said the parent.

Student parent Wu Li-hua stated that the students apparently did not pass the "interview" held before the matches, but the team only had their ranking downgraded moments before the upcoming game.

The team was reported saying that it would be entering next year's competition.

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