Don’t worry, we haven’t suddenly decided to compete in a different league. But since out team was also affected by the ongoing pandemic, we had to make due with the new regulations. Here is a short update on what we’ve been doing for the past couple weeks:
Today, three weeks ago, we should have been in the middle of our preparation camp for the world cup. When we got the message, that that is cancelled, that all non-necessary activities are postponed until further notice and that we’re not allowed to enter our lab for at least the next few weeks, we were unsure how our team would go on. Nevertheless we quickly recovered from the initial shock, built an digital infrastructure, re-prioritized our goals and moved all essential tools and components to our apartments. Despite these challenges, we managed to use the Hamburg Closed effectively and solve a lot of problems.
Since we cannot use our real world robots at the moment, these changes were also a motivation to improve our simulation technologies. By using a more precise robot model and swapping to PyBullet as our simulation framework, we will be able to solve many problems completely without a robot in the future. Additionally, we have decided to release our current software stack as software version 2.0. Even though some of the features we initially planned couldn’t be completed in time, we are very happy with the results. Version 2.0 includes a lot of new features, such as a heavily improved walking algorithm, as well as the second version of our localization.
By now we’ve pretty much gotten used to the new circumstances. The initial chaos slowly changes back to normal day to day life, we’re having regular meetings (online, of course), and are eagerly working on the code that will win us the next world cup.