While everybody is watching high priced FIFA Soccer World Cup (c)/(tm) matches some really amazing people organize their own world cup: At the RoboCup world championships being held at Messe Bremen from the 14th through 18th of June 2006. And today it’s already the day of the finalists! 440 teams from 36 countries will fight for 33 world championship titles. Yout think this isn’t sooooo amazing like a real soccer match with real human players? Then it might be that you haven’t seen this…
From fairest creatures we desire increase… (Shakespeare) There are many special leagues to compete in. Smaller and bigger robots, 4-legged or on wheels. In the Humanoid league, robots play against each other shaped with human like bodies and configured with sensory equipments. Actually this league sounds fantastic but is more slow than these on wheels – so I found it more boring than the other confrontations… Much more funny – and girls would say “sweater” – the 4on4 League…
Let the dogs out! Participants within Aibo Dog league at RoboCup aren’t allowed to change the structural design of this robot – so this is a special interest for robotic soccer trainers without indeep SW/HW knowledge… Anyone who wanted could purchase a Sony Aibo Dogs from a dealer – but only until March 2006. As part of its ongoing cost-cutting and reorganization effort, Sony has cut its line of robotic Aibo dogs, along with another, more-expensive, humanoid robot called the Qrio, which was never sold as a product. So it might be that the 4on4-League will not happen next RoboCup Word Championship.
“After 50 years of research within artificial intelligence, it has been determined that these things can be better researched using soccer than the game of chess. We have advanced a fair bit for this 10th year of Robo-Cup” says Hans-Dieter Burkhard, the Vice President of the RoboCup Federation. RoboCup is an international joint project to promote AI, robotics, and related field. It is an attempt to foster AI and intelligent robotics research by providing a standard problem where wide range of technologies can be integrated and examined. RoboCup chose to use soccer game as a central topic of research, aiming at innovations to be applied for socially significant problems and industries. The ultimate goal of the RoboCup project is by 2050, develop a team of fully autonomous humanoid robots that can win against the human world champion team in soccer. Crazy? Perhaps. But it’s really funny to watch as well.
In order for a robot team to actually perform a soccer game, various technologies must be incorporated including: design principles of autonomous agents, multi-agent collaboration, strategy acquisition, real-time reasoning, robotics, and sensor-fusion. RoboCup is a task for a team of multiple fast-moving robots under a dynamic environment. RoboCup also offers a software platform for research on the software aspects of RoboCup. One of the major application of RoboCup technologies is a search and rescue in large scale disaster. RoboCup initiated RoboCupRescue project to specifically promote research in socially significant issues.
Catastrophe simulation So the Robot World Championship began five day ago with a catastrophe. Smashed cars, smoke, flashing blue light, casualties – helpers of all kinds were needed! But above all it was the robot colleagues who had to get down to work. During a disaster simulation on Bürgerweide in Bremen, rescue robots showed what they’re capable of. The scenario portrays the situation after an earthquake in a town whose outline is reproduced in a computer. Robots support the work of human helpers. In a different situation the robots have to prove themselves in an exercise in which they must gather information in a contaminated area resulting from a simulated chemical accident.
More information at www.robocup2006.org.