Forget the nuclear deal: U.S. beats Iran in robot competition

A U.S. team robot beat its Iranian counterpart in the annual Robocup soccer tournament in Hefei, China. Credit: Sceenshot from video.

While the Obama administration faces the criticism that it was out-negotiated by Iran in reaching a nuclear deal, the U.S. is beating the Islamic Republic on at least one front: robotics.

On Wednesday, a humanoid robot named THORwIn that was designed by a University of Pennsylvania team defeated its Iranian counterpart at the annual Robocup soccer tournament in Hefei, China.

The American robot scored five goals, narrowly topping the four goals by Iran’s robot. The U.S.-Iran match marked the final round of the "adult-size humanoid" category.

Overall, 175 robot teams from 47 different countries and regions competed in the Robocup this year. The competition is held to raise awareness for the development and research of small humanoid robots. According to the Mashable website, one such robot costs between $50,000 and $100,000 to develop. Since most teams can only afford to bring one robot, the "adult" size competition works as a penalty kick competition rather than a full game of soccer.

Posted on July 23, 2015 .