The Bold Hearts (The University of Hertfordshire RoboCup Team) and the Turtles (Tech United at Eindhoven University of Technology) will both be participating in the upcoming 2015 RoboCup. No, this is not the incredible giant Japanese robot vs USA megabot duel that we are all awaiting with anticipation and glee…
It is instead awesome robots playing soccer.
Both teams are well established and fabulous competitors, so we think you should know a lot more about them before the Grand Final is held in Hefei, China between the 18th and the 22nd of July.
The Bold Hearts
This team is the oldest RoboCup competitors in the UK, beginning their illustrious kick-ass competition back in 2002. Last year they made their move from the simulation league to the kid sized humanoid league, where they won the Silver. Their first year in the competition. Now that is hard core.
This year, they’ve already achieved 3rd place at the German Open, a qualifying event and they are ready to take on the world in China.
See?! They have the video to prove it:
In their blog, the team details some of the tribulations of robots playing soccer, describing (hilariously) how the robots reacted to the new rules at the German Open. Apparently, the switch from flat carpet to the new artificial turf created quite a stir in ‘bot world, and the robots reacted by rolling around on the new artificial grass that covered the field.
On their facebook page, the team points out that this:
is what these little ‘bots see of the field! So, it’s probably not a surprise that they occasionally get confused.
The TechUnited RoboCup team is a formidable competitor. A multidisciplinary team made up of students new and old, PhD’s and employees of Eindhoven University of Technology, the team won last year’s Mid-Sized World RoboCup in Brazil. You may remember from our previous post that the middle-sized league is for robots that are larger than the tiny league, but not humanoid.
As a result, the Turtles kind of look like Daleks playing soccer. Seriously.
So what makes this Dutch team so much better than their competitors? Last year, Gerrit Naus told the Technologist that the secret behind the success of their robots was cooperation. By focusing on their cooperative nature the Turtles are able alternate passing and long shots, as opposed to blocking shots, the signature move of the formidable Chinese team, Water, the 2013 champions in the middle sized league.
One last thing we learned from Tech United: at the end of RoboCup, the middle-sized division plays against humans. And last year, the ‘bots scored a goal against their captors.
The purpose of the RoboCup is to advance the field of robotics, and the participants all share information at the conclusion of the competition. The eventual goal? For robots to beat human players by the year 2050. We have to say, depending on who the human players are, the ‘bots might take out their human competitors sooner rather than later…