Saturday 8 July 2023

Mastering the group phase – Let the Kick-Offs begin!

Suspenseful matches and critical bug fixes on the fly marked our group phase of this year’s RoboCup. Still, we consider the first half of the competition a net positive since we won all of our matches except one.

The first game against our Australian colleagues from rUNSWift ended 3:0 for us. This match made us painfully aware that our robots have major problems standing back up and walking smoothly on the artificial turf. The stark lighting differences across the field didn’t help either.
These issues also appeared in our second match against our old-time rival B-Human which we had to conclude 8:0. However, it was a match of 5 against 7 since all our other robots were getting their injuries treated at the Nao Clinic – that softened the blow a little.
So we went into the night with many tasks on our hands: improving the walk, creating a new stand-up motion, rethinking team strategy among others. Throughout the next day, we applied more and more fixes to our code, and we were rewarded with a 7:0 against our friends from Frankfurt – the Bembelbots.
On top of that, we managed a 4:0 against the Italian team SPQR in a truly spectacular match. Not everything ran smoothly (and of course we found more bugs) but we saw a steep increase in our robots’ performance. Shoutout to the HULKs who kindly lended us one of their best robot-bodies for the second half against SPQR after one of ours got badly damaged after a referee dropped it. The solution was quite easy – detach Deep Impact’s head from the damaged body and frankenstein it onto the HULK.

Today was the last game of the group phase, which we played against NomadZ from Zürich. With the newly implemented stand-up motion and 6 robots on the field, we managed to win the game 6:0. However, we discovered some problems with balancing, localization and line detection. All in all it seems like we are establishing a tradition: starting the RoboCup with major problems but improving our software over the following days to establish a reliable game play – a true Turniermannschaft. With confidence, excitement and a long list of To-dos we're looking forward to the hot phase of the competition – the Kick-Offs!

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