Round of Sixteen

Today the round of sixteen started. We played our match against the NUbots from Australia. As our walking algorithm was hard to configure to artificial turf, we tried to include the walking code from Rhoban from France, which is open-source,  into our software. We managed to do so just two hours before the game started and so we did not have much time to test it. But during the game the improvement was clearly visible. Probably we are going to develop it further and adapt it to the specifics of our robots, as it is easier to maintain than our old walking algorithm. 

The game ended without goals, so we had to do a penalty shootout, which the NUbots won with 2:0. So they entered the quarter finals. For us, this is the end of the competition, but now we have time to talk even more to other teams to exchange experiences. 


In the drop-in games we are ranked 4th place. As our robots didn’t score any goals by themselves, this result is mostly due to our (great!) teammate-teams, and the factor that our robots were fit to play and so were on the field most of the time.

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Second Group Stage

Today was another exciting day at the venue. At 2pm we had our first match of the day against Robit from South Korea. We put further effort in the ball detection to resolve the last problems with the porting of vision.
 
Right at the beginning of the match Minibot got a engine damage. The gear in the shoulder was broken and the patient had to be treated. But luckily we are always well equipped at the competitions. So we had spare motors to change the broken parts. Before the end of the match Minibot was ready again to at least defend the goal. In the mean time Hans, the WF Wolves’ robot, was defending the goal and was able to kick the ball into the right direction. But Hans fared no better. After falling down he broke his neck which had to be fixed with hot glue several times in this match. Robit had a big chance to score a goal, but they shot the ball that far, 10 cm in front of our goal to be precise, that they weren’t able to see the ball anymore. Due to the hardly fixed head hans wasn’t able anymore to locate the ball correctly. So he kicked into the air several times and did not hit the ball anymore.  But unfortunately it was not enough to score a goal so the match ended without goals.
 
In the second and last game for the day at 6 pm we played against the Fumanoids. In the afternoon we could make some little improvements so that we were able to walk a little into the direction of the ball, that we actually recognised. But after some steps Minibot fell over and due to a fault (probably in the accelerometer) he turned over and over on the field. He acted like a real soccer player! As a lesson from last game we had already prepared the hot glue for the game. But it got worse: Right before the start of the game Nils had noticed sparks flying out of the Wolves’ robot. A cable had become loose and caused a short circuit. A soldering iron was needed and after a short surgery Hans was able to play again. Only his head kept falling off when he fell down.
 
 
Towards the of the competition we wanted to take a team picture. We quickly found someone to take the photo of us. While we were still standing there, some participants and visitors of the IranOpen joined us to see our robot. Of course, we took also photos with them and soon we were surrounded by a group of people with Hans, Minibot and us in the middle.
 
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Group Stage

Today was the start of the tournament. The Bold Hearts played the opening match against the ZJU Dancers at 9 am. Afterwards we competed against the FUmanoids in a match that ended in a 0:0 tie. Unfortunately Minibot experienced some issues with the ball detection algorithm. Later on we were able to resolve the problem, but as usual other issues emerged afterwards. Although the Wolves have quite a good ball detection our team was not able to score a goal. 

Until 12 pm we had time to fix minor issues and continued on adapting the Wolves’ ball detection for our robot. 

In our second match the ZJU Dancers beat us with a score of 0:1. We believe  their success to be mostly attributed to their localisation software.

After a pleasant lunch break we were able to get the Wolves’ vision software running on Minibot. Since we use a different camera we had to adjust some parameters, so we could finally detect the ball. Still Minibot did not move much during the match since there seems to be a problem with the command to start the walking towards the ball when one is detected. We will approach that issue tomorrow.

In the penalty shoot-out against the Bold Hearts in our last match, which started at 6 pm, Hans, the Wolves’ robot, managed to score a goal and Minibot did a good job as goalie.

We also visited the other three exhibition halls in which the junior league is located. One of them accommodates student projects from various schools. We were quite impressed by the complexity of these projects. The subject of most projects was related to electronics, programming and environmental concerns. 

 

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Set-Up Days

Yesterday evening we finally managed to run our software on the robot. So today we could start testing. The bus shuttle to the hall was in time, because we had to attend the opening ceremony at 9:00. Speakers at the ceremony were the president of the Qazvin University, important professors and the deputy mayor of Tehran. They underlined the importance of the RoboCup competitions and the research in Iran. 

Today we recorded test data for Fabians master thesis on pressure sensors .  The artificial turf on the playing field is not very high, but it is made of different kinds of artificial turf which makes the robots stumble at the borders between two parts.

The field markings correspond to the rules of 2015 and the games will be played under the rules of 2016.  At this competition there was no referee meeting, because the technical committee will be refereeing most games . Also there was no robot inspection to officially measure and weight the robots. Instead each team simply had to measure their robots themselves and fill out a form.

Tomorrow at 7:30 German time we will play our first game against the FUmanoids from Berlin. Unfortunately we could not do a test game today so we are very excited on how we will present ourselves on the playing field. At the moment we are working on including the Wolves image processing into our software, as our own image processing code is too slow to be used in the game. This was enabled by Marcs master thesis, to move our software to the ROS framework in cooperation with other teams. Thus, standards were defined  that make code sharing very easy. We are looking forward to the debut tomorrow. 

At 9:30 German time we will compete in our second group match against the ZJU Dancers. Our third one will be at 15:30 against the Bold Hearts.

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Arrivel in Teheran

After three years of participating in the the IranOpen, we thought that this year would be the same, but we were surprised to be accommodated in a different hotel. Of course you always meet new RoboCup teams. During the flight we met the LUHbots from Hanover who play in the @Work league.
Other than that things were quite similar to the previous years. We had to wait for a long time at the airport for our visa and our arrival at the hotel was delayed quite a bit.After a relatively short night we started our day with a tasty breakfast. The bus to the convention center, which was supposed to pick us up at 8:30, arrived at 10:00, but the couches in the hotel eased our waiting time and were appreciated by a team lacking quite some sleep.
When we finally arrived at the center construction of the convention was still in full swing. Since a lot of things were still moved in and out of the hall the doors stayed open and with approximately 5° outside Nils even put on some gloves.

 

The continuing rain really made us feel like we were right at home.

After some small repairs to Minibot it is now fully functional, at least from the perspective of the hardware. We now work intensely on the software side of things. Also the Gamecontroller, the software used by the referees, was tested today.
The Wolves were even able to test their robot on the playing field. Since the lines were colored with thick white paint, they were quite hard and it will be difficult for our robots not to trip over them. On the bright side of things the lighting conditions are really good.
Seven teams participate in our league. We will play in a group phase with the FUmanoids, Bold Hearts and ZJU Dancers in our group and Robit, MRL and the Unbounded Designers in the other. Wednesday morning at 9 games will begin.

We hope to continue working tonight (Monday) at the hotel, hopefully with a better internet connection than at the venue and look forward to the opening ceremony tomorrow.

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Robot soccer in Harburg – RoHOW 2016

Friday evening this years Robotic Hamburg Open Workshop started. Over 100 participants from Germany, Netherlands, Luxemburg and France, including the three current world champions, came to the Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH) to share their newest developments in software and hardware with each other. 

Yesterday there were several workshops about a wide range of topics including robot self-localization, image processing with artificial intelligence or funding of robocup teams.

Today at 12pm the visitor day takes place. In addition to interesting talks several test matches are scheduled. The matches give a good overview of the problems we are facing until the next competition, the IranOpen in April 2017.

After two interesting days full of inspiration we hope do see you today.

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Save the date: RoHOW 27.11.

This November for the third year in a row the Robotic Hamburg Open Workshop(RoHOW) will be held again. In cooperation with the RoboCup team from the Hamburg University of Technology, the HULKs, we organize the networking and communication event for students and researchers from all over the world in the field of humanoid robotics. The preparations are in full swing and the team invitations are dispatched. We are looking forward towards an interesting weekend and your visit on Sunday, the 27th of November. From 12pm on everyone can come by and visit the RoHOW. For more information please visit http://rohow.de/2016/en/.

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