"RoboCup 2011", the football World Cup for robots, is being held in Istanbul this month. Geeks and nerds from all over the world have gathered here to watch mechanical contraptions try to kick a ball with all the skill of the human Scotland team.
The robots stand and walk on two legs, but are not able to run fast. They walk in a strange duck-like manner, which has led to one of the England robots being named Chris Waddle. It is no coincidence that they are also awful at penalties.
The English team entered for the first time this year, and they have a lot of catching up to do with their rivals. The problems began on the bus to Turkey - their robot manager kept exploding. In the end, they had to pick up a cheap replacement Italian one on the way.
England's first match in the group stages was against Argentina, who are not traditionally known for their robot-making skills. The Argies won after scoring a controversial goal, where a third arm appeared illegally out of the top of Diego Marobota's head and knocked the ball into the net. The referee didn't see the incident because his batteries had run out.
Their second match was against Germany, and the plucky English androids knew they had tough opposition when they saw their Teutonic opponents standing proudly with their hands on their chests beeping their national anthem.
Germany played so fast that one of the England defenders, Mecha Richards, couldn't keep up. He had to be substituted by the winner of last year's Robot Wars, The Destroyer. The Destroyer was promptly sent off for "ungentlerobotly behaviour" after attacking the German team swinging a mace.
In the second half, things improved and England had their best chance when Wayne R2-ney set up C3P-ter Crouch with a fantastic cross, but he miscalculated the angle and after attempting a divide by zero he froze in mid-air and collapsed to the ground. Perhaps this explains the behaviour of the real Peter Crouch.
The England-Germany game ended in a draw, but thankfully this was a group game so there was no embarrassing penalty shoot-out.
England's final match was against Cameroon, a must-win game. The Italian robot manager was understandably furious when England didn't even make it to the game on time and forfeited the match. Later it was discovered they were exhausted after spending the whole night in their hotel room "entertaining" a group of young English ladies looking for a footballer boyfriend.
Let's hope they have better luck next year.