Engineers and scientists at NUI Maynooth create football playing robots in the hope research will help develop automatons capable of assisting humans.

ROBO Éireann is a research project at NUI Maynooth which uses footballing robots in a quest to develop machines which will one day assist humans with a variety of tasks.

A hard-drive for a brain, webcams for vision and a chest full of motorised parts.

These robots can follow a ball around a pitch and shoot for goal and dive to stop shots. The project is a collaboration between the Departments of Engineering and Computer Sciences at the National University of Ireland (NUI) Maynooth. The aim of the project is to advance robotics to a stage where machines will be able to help humans with common tasks. NUI Maynooth is pitting their robots against the robots of other worldwide institutions to see which robots are the most agile - a fun way of pushing research forward. 

While the project initially received government funding, this funding has now been cut. Researchers are now looking for new sponsors so that the robotic development can continue.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 2 July 2012. The reporter is Joe Mag Raollaigh.