Millions of people across the world regularly control computerised footballers on a game controller. EA Sports’ FIFA is, after all, one of the biggest-selling video game series in history.

But can you imagine controlling human-sized robots from just feet away, rather than miniature figures on a computer screen!? If not, welcome to the intriguingly wacky world of Robocup!

The robots, who have been designed to do everything a footballer would do, including tackle, pass, dribble, head and shoot, compete to rules similar to the conventional ones.

And when Robocup was launched in 1997, its organisers were certainly not shy on ambition. Their aim read: “By the mid-21st century, a team of fully autonomous humanoid robot soccer players shall, complying with the official rules of FIFA, beat the most recent FIFA World Cup winners.”