Its Friday of a short week, so of course we’re getting a little goofy.  We ran across this story this morning and couldn’t resist passing it on.  The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is hosting a nanosoccer tournament, of sorts.

These soccer tournaments are meant to encourage research at the nano levels for motion and movement: "NIST’s conducts its nanosoccer competitions and demonstrations in conjunction with RoboCup, an international organization dedicated to using the game of soccer as a testing ground for the robotics technologies of the future. NIST’s goal in coordinating competitions between the world’s smallest robots—known as nanobots (nanoscale robots)—is to show the feasibility and accessibility of technologies for fabricating MicroElectroMechanical Systems (MEMS), tiny mechanical devices built onto semiconductor chips and measured in micrometers (millionth of a meter)." 

The most recent demonstration just occurred earlier this week at the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh.  While data from this demonstration does not appear to be available, check out what they did at the 2007 demonstration.  Other highlights include the demonstration video "Bend it like NIST: Tiny Soccer Players Pave Way for Microrobots."

I just have a few questions.  Fist, do they play with buckyballs?  Second, how big can the trophey really be?  And third, are these guys available for our upcoming soccer tournament this summer?  We can use all the help we can get.