When Virginia Tech’s Robotics and Mechanisms Laboratory (RoMeLa) won the RoboCup 2011 soccer competition – including the grand prix Louis Vuitton Humanoid Cup – in July 2011 in Istanbul, Turkey, it was more than a job well done. Its victory was a first for the United States in the world of humanoid robotics dominated by Japan and Korea, not to mention soccer-obsessed nations such as England and Germany.

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