Japanese robot goalie bests greatest footballer in world, Lionel Messi (video)

A TV show in Japan has managed to do what many world-class footballers and teams have failed over the last few seasons - thwart World Player of the Year Lionel Messi on a footy pitch.

Admittedly, it has taken a dedicated robot goalkeeper to do so, one with lightning reactions, but it only goes to show that the Barcelona ace is human after all.

What's actually going on in the TV show is anybody's guess (if you know the show, or speak Japanese, please let us know in the comments below), but we do recognise the format of a penalty shoot-out. In a best of three scenario, Messi is beaten, with the goalie going the right way each time. You'll have to watch the - admittedly long - clip to find out how he gets on later.

We've actually seen something like the robot goalkeeper before. In fact, there are demos online from as far back as 2007, featuring a very similar, if not the exact same, device built and designed in Germany.

It uses two tracking cameras housed in the surrounding frame, each capable of capturing video at 90 frames per second. These map a 3D picture of the ball and what direction it is travelling in, based on angle, velocity and spin. A computer then feeds that information to the goalkeeper, which moves to intercept. It is ridiculously hard to fool the computer, so there are few ways to get past it.

See if Messi finally manages to do it.



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