Saturday 26 June 2010

Impressions from the banquet, Irish pub and the long way home ...

Shirt exchanges

You might have heard about the tradition to exchange shirts after the RoboCup ended. This time Daniel gave one of his shirts to the team from Israel. Furthermore, we wanted to thank people who helped us a lot at the convention center. One of them was the security guy at the entrance. He was our 'man in the middle' for the center management and put us through the people we needed in order to clarify problems, so he received a shirt, too. His response: "I will never forget you guys". Well, we found new friends in Singapore :-)

News about our last night in Singapore and our trip back to Germany

Our last night in Singapore was amazing. After the banquet all Nao teams met in an Irish pub, exchanged impressions from Singapore, research results of the Naos and did some small talk about their country, university and culture. After we changed the locations a few more times, all teams grew together, new international friendships formed and visit invitations around the globe came up.

Tobias is back in Germany. He had a very pleasant flight with Singapore Airlines while the others are still in Singapore. Their airplane was having an engine problem, so after more than 5 hours waiting at the airport Qantas booked a hotel (5 stars and within the top500 ... how amazing is this?) and they immigrated to Singapore once again. Back in Germany, Tobias booked a hostel near the train station in Frankfurt/Main and his night wasn't that quite - he shared a room with five Irish people. This was a hell of a noisy night.

Because of the flight delay we weren't able to use our tickets for the train to Leipzig. At that time the tickets were still in Singapore and Deutsche Bahn was unable to reprint tickets when all data (ticket number, owner, time) were only emailed ... so Tobias needed to charge the full price for another time ... yes, they could do better on the service quality and their software system.

Update: the others try to board the plane and will be in Frankfurt at 12 pm the next day.

Thursday 24 June 2010

The final matches are over ...

The finals are over and the matches were really impressive. As expected, B-Human is the winner of the RoboCup 2010. The second place goes to rUNSWift from Australia and the third to Austin Villa from United States. Later this day, there will be a banquet for all teams and tomorrow is the conference. Our flights back to Germany are on Friday. The Internet will be  shut down at 6 pm localtime, so this might be our last post until Saturday back in Germany. Hopefully we see each other at the RoboCup 2011 in Istanbul/Turkey.

Wednesday 23 June 2010

Back to our hotel ...

... good night Singapore :-)

Nao-Team HTWK wins the Open Challenge!

We've won the Open Challenge since most teams voted for our research idea about robust vision without calibration! Thanks a lot! Again, a short description of our idea may be found here:

Impressions from today

Have a look at Nils playing with a Nao, the mates preparing for our last match, Nils watching the Open Challenges, Casey being impatient to play, the start console for the last match and a deconstructed field (yeah, that is weird - there's still one day left until finish).

Building bridges between countries and making new friends

Earlier today "Les 3 Mousquetaires" came around and gave us team shirts. This is a very big-hearted gift. Thank you guys we will cherish it :-)

Video update: Austin Villa - Second half

Video update: Austin Villa - First half

Video update: Austrian Kangaroos - Second half

Video update: Austrian Kangaroos - First half

This Midsummer Night's Dream is over: Nao-Team HTWK - Austin Villa: 1 - 3!

Well, unfortunately our Midsummer Night's Dream is over, we've lost with two points difference in the Quarter Finals against a really difficult opponent: Austin Villa from USA. Our robots gave their best. This time one of our robot even completely broke his neck and in fact with highly exhaustion our goalie scored one own goal. This is definitely no loss, we gained so much amazing experiences and impressions and we're one of the 8 best SPL teams in the world!

We would like to thank our faculty, all professors and  our sponsors who made our trip to Singapore possible. Furthermore, we would like to thank all others who supported and shared the thrill with us before and during the RoboCup 2010 world championship.

Video updates, some more images and posts are coming soon.

In the back Stefan, Tobias, Rico. In the front Nils, Daniel and Thomas.

Open Challange is over ...

... and we are quite satisfied. But have a look for yourself:

SPL @ RoboCup 2010

A photo of all team members from the Standard Platform League.

Nao-Team HTWK - Austrian Kangaroos: 2 - 1!

Yes! We've won again and reached the Quarter Finals! :-)

Open Challenge: robust vision without calibration

Here you'll find our Open Challenge description that has been proposed yesterday. Every team is free to post ideas and research about everything that is related to the Nao robots. Our contribution is about robust vision without calibration:

3:30 am and the ceiling light is still on

Last night some of us continued their hacking session back at the hotel room, since the light and even the Internet has been shut down early at the conference hall (!). Did some robot calibration, code review and testing. Well, we faked the green carpet and set up Tobias jacket, but it worked! Thank god there's a Starbucks at our location. What a hell of a night ;-)

The color pink

Greetings! This is Casey again.

Some vigilant readers pointed out that the color of the waistbands is pink and not magenta. As I said: I'm not really watching for these, so please forgive me for this little mistake.

But now to the important things:

Today I quickly scampered away while the humans were sleeping or slacking off (see that earlier blog entry). I met some teams of the other leagues (after luring their humans off into a storage room and locking the door). There are some really nice bots around here and I think you should get to know them too.

The first ones I've met are the ones of the small size league. They are playing soccer as well on an six times four meters big field. When they are playing it's always like watching a sworm of zerglings (or colony of ants if you're more familiar with that). They are playing in teams of 5 robots, which are watched by cameras from above. They are working together with a controlling computer, which is located off of the field. The controller watches the game by using  cameras, gives his team hints about where the ball is located at and where to drive. These robots use wheels for moving and achieve quite a impressive speed and acceleration. Even for their small size.  While chatting, they recommended me to visit the middle size league, which is two floors above ours.

The robots of the middle size league are like the big brothers of the small size league. They are moving on wheels as well, but are playing soccer on a much bigger field. They play in teams of six using a eighteen meters long and twelve meters wide field. The robots  reach quite impressive heights, so they can carry their own PC's and laptops. Each one carries at least one camera, usually providing an 360 degree field of view. Of course they are packing quite a punch, making them shoot the ball through the whole hall from time to time. Their acceleration is impressive as well. During the German Open I watched one of their goalies shredding pieces out of the wooden goal when he decided its better to enter the goal from the solid side instead using the front opening. They are also the first robots who learned to propel the ball up into the air and hit the goal in the upper corner. Hmmm maybe I should try that, too.

I spotted more walking robots as I returned to my floor. The bigger one is playing in the teen size league. We were chatting about several walking techniques and stuff. He told me that the teams in his league are all looking different. They are all designed and build by their human team members and play soccer as well in a field like ours. Hmmm maybe I should ask the biggest one of them to join our team. He covers the whole goal area when he sprawls out.

The smaller one is a member of the kid size league. They are a little bit smaller than the the teen sized ones - at most 30 centimeters high while the teen sized ones might be twice as high. The teen and the middle sized leagues are playing with at most three robots on the field, like we do. I was watching them for a while and I have to admit that they are walking quite fast for two legged robots. For the moment I can't keep up with their speed, but I'm sure I'll improve my way of walking till next year.

OK, I think I should return and wake the humans now. We still got work to do!

Heading into the night ...

Like every night, air condition shuts down and we are heading back to our hotel. It was a interesting day with great results and discussions. Tomorrow is one of the most important matches to reach the quarter final, so wish us good luck!

Tuesday 22 June 2010

Impressions from Tuesday

What you see here ... before breakfast; a crowd watching a game; a NimBro team member watching their robot; argumentation and testing the robot.

Video update: Cerberus - Second half


Not only robots need to rest sometimes...

Video update: Cerberus - First half

Upcoming preparations for the Technical Challenge ...

The match against Ceberus was the last match for today. We are now heading to the Technical Challenge. One part of it is to successfully pass the ball from one player to another.

Video update: NimbRo - Second half

Nao-Team HTWK - Cerberus: 2 - 0!

We've won against Cerberus with 2 goals! Yeah!

Video update: NimbRo - First half

Prizes, prizes, prizes, ....

You may wonder: What is the prize except the honor to be the best soccer playing robot team in world? Take a look at the great prizes that are waiting for the world leading teams!

Nao-Team HTWK - Nimbro: 2 - 3!

That was definitely a game with a huge amount of adrenalin. A few minutes before the game started, one of our robots needed to be repaired and the fourth one wasn't ready to play either. So again, this time we only played with two. NimbRo is one of the best German teams,  whose AI is based on B-Humans. For a certain time we were tie for the lead. If the game had run 10s further, it definitely would have been a tie! Unfortunately, we've lost with one goal difference. Next game will be on 5pm.

Video update is comming soon.

Good morning!

Yesterday, we've reached the first place in our group. Today, we are playing in the second group round, so our first match will be against
Nimbro. More upcoming matches will be against Cerberus and Austrian Kangaroos. We are looking forward to it!