Sport

These high-tech sports could be the future

By Amarachi Orie

Updated 1651 GMT (0051 HKT) January 14, 2022
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Technology is rapidly changing our lives, and that applies to sport as much as anywhere else. For example, RoboCup is a soccer competition for autonomous robots, watched by tens of thousands of spectators. Look through the gallery to see some of the other ground-breaking sports being played today. PETER PARKS/AFP/AFP via Getty Images
RoboCup's Small Size league features teams of six robots that must fit within a 180 mm diameter circle and must be no higher than 15 cm. The ultimate aim of the tournament is to advance the development of intelligent robots. AFP Contributor/AFP/AFP via Getty Images
ROBO-ONE is a robot fighting competition, organized by the Biped Robotics Association. The robots fight in an octagonal ring and must knock down their opponent three times to win. As well as providing spectator thrills, the competition aims to improve robotic technology and promote intelligent robots to the public. Matt Roberts/Getty Images AsiaPac/Getty Images
Segway polo is like regular polo, but instead of horses, players ride two-wheeled electric Segways. The Segway Polo Club of Barbados, pictured in blue, won the 2019 World Championship. DrewsViews Photography
Coming soon, perhaps, to an off-road racecourse near you, is the Furrion Prosthesis exo-bionic racing mech robot. This giant robotic exoskeleton was created by engineer Jonathan Tippet. His vision is to use it for mech racing -- a sport where people will pilot huge mechanical suits through complex obstacle courses. DAVID MCNEW/AFP/AFP via Getty Images
Aiming to promote the use of sustainable micromobility transportation in urban areas, the eSkootr Championship will launch in Spring 2022. Riders will race through inner-city circuits on high-tech S1-X electric scooters, which can reach speeds of over 100 kilometers (62 miles) per hour. eSkootr Championship
In drone soccer, teams of between three and five pilots score points by flying their "striker" drone through their opponent's goal, while the opposition tries to block them. The sport, which originated in South Korea, had its first US tournament in July last year at the Rocky Mountain State Games, in Colorado, and leagues are set to launch in Colorado, New York, Ohio, and elsewhere. U.S. Drone Soccer
One half of what could become a future sport is FORPHEUS -- an intimidating table-tennis playing robot developed by automation parts maker Omron. It's intended to help its human opponent train by matching the difficulty of its play to their abilities, using cameras that detect their movement, facial expression and heart rate. KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/AFP via Getty Images
Speedgate is a game created by artificial intelligence, and combines aspects of croquet, rugby and soccer. A neural network was trained using rules from around 400 sports, according to AKQA, the design agency behind Speedgate. The sport is now growing into a US-wide university league, AKQA says. AKQA
Camel racing is a traditional sport in the Middle East. But while child jockeys were once commonplace, in countries such as the United Arab Emirates they have been replaced by lightweight robot jockeys. The robot jockeys consist of a metal frame with remote-controlled features. KARIM SAHIB/AFP/AFP via Getty Images
As well as a standard whip, trainers can add extra features to their robot jockeys, such as a GPS to pinpoint the camel's location, a walkie talkie to allow the trainer to speak to the camel, and a heart rate monitor. Francois Nel/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
In first-person view drone racing, pilots guide drones through complex racecourses while wearing goggles that stream live video from the drones' cameras. The Drone Racing League (DRL) has been televised by major networks and amassed over 75 million global fans since launching in 2016, according to DRL CEO and founder Nicholas Horbaczewski. Drone Racing League
More than a contest, Cybathlon is a competition that showcases high-tech devices for people with physical disabilities. Organized by Swiss university ETH Zurich, participants compete in events that involve everyday tasks such as balancing on rocks with a prosthetic leg or overcoming uneven terrain in an electric-powered wheelchair race. Pictured, Cho Yu NG competes at the first Cybathlon in 2016. MICHAEL BUHOLZER/AFP/AFP via Getty Images