LONDON: Watch out, Lionel Messi. ARTEMIS is here. Standing at 4 feet, 8 inches tall (142 centimeters) and weighing 85 pounds (38 kg), ARTEMIS is a first-of-its-kind robot that University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) mechanical engineers developed, and it is ready for the pitch. Using cutting edge technology, ARTEMIS, which stands for Advanced Robotic Technology for Enhanced Mobility and Improved Stability, can maintain its balance against heavy kicks and shoves, withstand objects being thrown at it and is capable of running. But what sets ARTEMIS apart on top of that is its ability to kick a ball. “If your robot cannot even play a game of soccer, how would you be able to use these robots for more important things, such as saving people’s lives?” said Dennis Hong, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and director of the Robotics and Mechanisms Laboratory (RoMeLa) at UCLA, which developed ARTEMIS. The technologies used for soccer playing robots are also being used for other applications like firefighting and disaster relief, said Hong. While ARTEMIS may not be at the next FIFA World Cup, Hong’s team will be unveiling its full soccer capabilities at RoboCup in Bordeaux, France, in July.