Mountain View, CA — SGI announced that it has entered a worldwide sponsorship agreement with the RoboCup Federation ( http://www.robocup.org ), a nonprofit organization based in Berne, Switzerland that promotes state-of-the-art robotics and artificial intelligence research. SGI will provide the RoboCup Federation with computer equipment and technical support, primarily on the Linux platform, for three years beginning with RoboCup 2000, the fourth world robot soccer championship in Melbourne, Australia on August 28, 2000.
RoboCup recently decided to shift its platform for research and development from UNIX OS-based systems to the open source platform of Linux, and in doing so, landed the SGI sponsorship. The federation’s switch to Linux was a prime motivating factor for SGI, which is fully committed to developing the ascending operating system.
RoboCup, an international research and education initiative, is an organization that promotes state-of-the-art robotics and artificial intelligence research and provides a platform for integrated, project-oriented education. RoboCup chose soccer as a way of showcasing advances in robotics technology. RoboCup’s ultimate goal is to develop a team of robotic players that will be able to defeat the human world soccer championship team by the year 2050.
In addition, RoboCup-Rescue has been started with the intention to adopt the breakthrough technologies developed by the RoboCup Federation to aid in worldwide relief efforts for disasters.
The idea of RoboCup was initiated in 1993 by Japanese researchers with the intent to research artificial intelligence and robotics as well as to create key technologies for future generations through the development of related devices and new materials. The first worldwide Robot Soccer Game and Conference was held in Nagoya, Japan in July 1997. Currently, thousands of researchers and students from 36 countries such as Japan, the U.S., the U.K., France, Germany, China, Canada, Australia, Russia and Italy are participating in various projects organized by the RoboCup Federation. National committees have been established in more than 10 countries, including Japan, the U.S., Scandinavia, France, Germany, Italy and Singapore.
“We are tremendously pleased that SGI has decided to be a major sponsor of RoboCup,” said Hiroaki Kitano, chairman of the RoboCup Federation. “It is well-recognized that SGI has contributed greatly to Linux by bringing its advanced core technology into the open source platform. We share the same objectives, goals and commitment to Linux to further the development of key technologies for future generations.”
“RoboCup Federation’s RoboCup 2000 provides an excellent opportunity to showcase great advances in technology, and SGI is glad to be a part of it,” said Bob Bishop, CEO of SGI. “The breakthroughs made by RoboCup research and development will have an impact on computing technology and applications worldwide.”
“For RoboCup, high-performance computing and visualization technology is essential and is exactly what SGI has been focusing on and maintaining a leading position in for years,” said Norio Izumi, president, SGI Japan. “SGI will strongly support its activities with our advanced technology in Linux as well as HPC and visualization.”
Sony Corporation has also concluded a sponsorship agreement with the Federation to support RoboCup activities.