2011-07-10

Robocup

Today was the last day of competitions for my first RoboCup. Already on its 15th year, one of its goals is to have by 2050 human-size robots playing against the soccer world champions and winning. I thought that was far fetched, but after seeing some robots in action, it doesn't seem that impossible anymore.

There are several different leagues, playing in simulations, wheeled and humanoid robots of different sizes. The simulated leagues can have complex strategies and make nice moves. Wheeled robots can move very fast and are very good at kicking. Team Water from China defeated TechUnited Eindhoven from The Netherlands in the final in an exciting 6-5. Those bots play good! At the human-robot match, Water tied 5-5 against an allowing group of team leaders. Humans could have easily won if they wished, but it was more of a friendly game...

The humanoid robots are a bit slower, but still there is action packed excitement in some matches. The Nao robots are a bit slow, but they can certainly kick the ball.

Perhaps the most interesting league is the @Home, where our group Golem competed for the first time. We weren't one of the best teams, but we gained lots of experience. The idea of the @Home league is to exhibit robot capabilities in domestic environments. We are still far away from fully autonomous general purpose robots at home, but small steps are being made.

Next year RoboCup will be held in Mexico City. See you there.

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