Samba, Caipirinha, and soccer. Many would associate all these words automatically with Brazil. Since arriving, I can to you that while I haven’t seen everyone dancing the Samba or drinking Caipirinha, it IS the World Cup after all, and Brazil is futbol obsessed! Everyone, young and old, men and women, even those not interested in the game, all are all a sudden obsessed. I was able to get the full Brazillian experience, watching a World Cup match at a public viewing in São Paulo.
The lighthearted atmosphere turned tense when, during the game, Chile caught up to Brazil, leading to a penalty shootout.
In the end, everyone was relieved and the party resumed after Brazil finally came out on top!
While the World Cup will be an important part of our Brazillian tour, I wanted to share another “Cup” with you – one that has been hidden and pushed into the background with futbol-mania. Taking place from the 19-25th of July, right here in Brazil is the RoboCup 2014! igus will be taking part in the tournament, running in Joâo Pessoa, putting our robots up against their toughest competition in a number of disciplines – one being Robot Soccer!
Students from the University of Bonn, teamed with igus, created a humanoid robot that uses a number of igus plastic components created using a laser-sintering process. The plastic bearings used in the robot allow for smooth motions of the robots joints, as well as reducing the total weight of the robot without compromising any strength – a big advantage over the competition!
I have to keep referring to our little soccer machine as “the robot,” as he doesn’t have a name; but you can help change that! We’re having a naming contest for our competitor, pick a name and enter the contest here: http://goo.gl/mkYJ54 Whatever name both igus Germany and the University of Bonn agree on wins a prize!
I’ll tell you more about our robot over the next few weeks as he competes in his own version of the World Cup.
As I mentioned, I am in São Paulo at the moment. The city is the economic capital of Brazil, and with more than 20 million people, the largest metro area in the Southern Hemisphere. Unfortunately, our awesome iglide car is still 400 miles away in Rio de Janeiro! The customs in Rio is more specialized on imported items like cars, and so it should be through much more quickly than if we brought it through the São Paulo airport.
Over the next week, we’ll be hopping on a plane to Rio, and from there we’ll start the tour – driving South to the Argentinean border.
I’ll keep you up to date, as always!