The 2014 FIFA World Cup is the 20th edition of the event. The year will also mark the 18th RoboCup soccer tournament. The annual event will surpass the World Cup in quantity by 2018.

By 2050, it may surpass the quality.

In late July, this year's RoboCup will take place in Joao Pessoa, Brazil. The event features robotic soccer players created by teams. The competition, founded by Japanese artificial intelligence researcher Hiroaki Kitano, debuted in 1997. Kitano's mission was to steamroll a movement to develop robotic soccer players that could compete with humans by the 2050 World Cup.

While the inaugural tournament featured 38 teams from 11 countries, the 2014 event plans to include 550 teams from over 45 nations. There will be separate divisions for humanoid and wheeled robots and for non-soccer events for best domestic and rescue robots.

Although the robots encounter issues of bumping into each other and a lack of a brain, the technology continues to develop. The players, balls, field and goal are still miniature compared to the human counterparts, but changes may be in the future. After all, 2050 is still 36 years away.

On a darker note, this Nike ad could one day be real:

[H/T Forbes]

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