The RoboCup project
RoboCup is an international research and education initiative. It fosters artificial intelligence (AI) and intelligent robotics research by providing a standard problem where a wide range of technologies can be integrated and examined. For this purpose, RoboCup chose to use soccer as a primary domain.
In an environment as highly dynamic as soccer, having multiple fast-moving robots to cooperatie requires a lot of new technologies. Eventually society will benefit of these major innovations.
Goal of the project
The ultimate goal of the project is stated as:
“By mid-21st century, a team of fully autonomous humanoid robot soccer players shall win the soccer game, comply with the official rule of the FIFA, against the winner of the most recent World Cup.”
RoboCup proposes this goal to be one of the grand challenges shared by robotics and AI community for the next 50 years. This goal may sound overly ambitious given the state of the art technology today. Nevertheless, it is believed that it is important that such a long range goal is to be claimed and pursued. After the Wright Brother's made their first succesfull flight with an aircraft, it took only 50 years as well untill mankind was able to send a man to the moon and safely return him to the earth…
Tech United competes in the RoboCup Soccer domain with its TURTLE robots and TUlip. The soccer domain consist of the following leagues:
- Simulation League
- Small Size Robot League
- Middle Size Robot League
- Standard Platform Robot League
- Humanoid League
Each league has its own characteristics and its own rulebook. Tech United performs in the Middle Size League. This league can be considered to be the main league of the competition. Two teams of mid-sized robots with all sensors on-board play soccer on a field. Relevant objects are distinguished by colors. Communication among robots is supported on wireless communications. No external intervention by humans is allowed, except to insert or remove robots that are substituted.
In the the Humanoid League robots with a human appearance and with human senses play autonomous soccer against each other. Besides football, the robots take part in the technical challenges. Dynamic walking, running, shooting the ball with maintaining balance, visual perceptive and more. The robots in this league are divided into 3 classes: KidSize (30-60cm height), Teen Size (90-120 cm height) and Adult Size (130cm and above). Tech United is participating in the Adult Size, in this league only penalties are taken against eachother.
The RoboCup@Home league aims to develop service and assistive robot technology with high relevance for future personal domestic applications. It is the largest international annual competition for autonomous service robots and it is part of the RoboCup initiative. A set of benchmark tests is used to evaluate the robots’ abilities and performance in a realistic non-standardized home environment setting. There is mainly focussed on the following domains: Human-Robot-Interaction and Cooperation, Navigation and Mapping in dynamic environments, Computer Vision and Object Recognition under natural light conditions, Object Manipulation, Adaptive Behaviors, Behavior Integration, Ambient Intelligence, Standardization and System Integration.
Tech United participates in the RoboCup@Home league through its service and care taking robot AMIGO.
Official website of the RoboCup federation: www.robocup.org