Soccer Robots


Sony Envisions an AI-Fueled World, From Kitchen Bots to Games

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In 1997, Hiroaki Kitano, a research scientist at Sony, helped organize the first Robocup, a robot soccer tournament that attracted teams of robotics and artificial intelligence researchers to compete in the picturesque city of Nagoya, Japan. At the start of the first day, two teams of robots took to the pitch. As the machines twitched and surveyed their surroundings, a reporter asked Kitano when the match would begin. "I told him it started five minutes ago!" he says with a laugh. Such was the state of AI and robotics at the time.


Robo-soccer? C'mon, Man!

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"People think footballers are all like robots. We can control everything on the pitch. But your heart is beating 200 times a minute. "Jaw-dropping" is a word I deplore. Yet, I came close to muffing a mandible when I encountered stories about a bunch of electronics engineers -- clearly with too much time on their hands -- working feverishly on "the development of robotic soccer players which can beat a human World Cup champion team." According to an explanation of this eccentric dream, "the idea of robots playing soccer was first mentioned by Professor Alan Mackworth" of the University of British Columbia in the early 1990s. Accessing the World RoboCup website, I discovered that a fair amount of money went into studying the "financial feasibility" and "social impact" of lightning-fast, cat-quick robo-soccer teams humiliating the Germans, Brazilians and British hooligans at, say, the 2026 World Cup. The "researchers concluded that the project was feasible and desirable."


Before they inevitably revolt, watch a bunch of tiny robots play soccer

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If you've ever wondered what the robot apocalypse would look like, look no further than what unfolded on the lawn outside of MIT's Building 10 this week. There, on the grassy Killian Court, a spectacle unfolded that will likely become commonplace once AI-powered robots rise up and enslave their human masters. A total of nine of MIT's "Mini Cheetah" bots took to the leaf-littered lawn to play a bit of soccer. If you can ignore the intense fear building up in your gut right now, the whole thing is actually kind of adorable. The impromptu event is documented in a number of videos from onlookers that were then published to Twitter.


Fractals2019: Combinatorial Optimisation with Dynamic Constraint Annealing

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Fractals2019 started as a new experimental entry in the RoboCup Soccer 2D Simulation League, based on Gliders2d code base, and advanced to a team winning RoboCup-2019 championship. Our approach is centred on combinatorial optimisation methods, within the framework of Guided Self-Organisation (GSO), with the search guided by local constraints. We present examples of several tactical tasks based on the fully released Gliders2d code (version v2), including the search for an optimal assignment of heterogeneous player types, as well as blocking behaviours, offside trap, and attacking formations. We propose a new method, Dynamic Constraint Annealing, for solving dynamic constraint satisfaction problems, and apply it to optimise thermodynamic potential of collective behaviours, under dynamically induced constraints. 1 Introduction The RoboCup Soccer 2D Simulation League provides a rich dynamic environment, facilitated by the RoboCup Soccer Simulator (RCSS), aimed to test advances in decentralised collective behaviours of autonomous agents. The challenges include concurrent adversarial actions, computational nondetermin-ism, noise and latency in asynchronous perception and actuation, and limited processing time [1-9]. Over the years the progress of the League has been supported by several important base code releases, covering both low-level skills and standardised world models of simulated agents [10-13]. The release in 2010 of the base code of HELIOS team, agent2d-3.0.0, later upgraded to agent2d-3.1.1,


Keeping Up with Robotics Trends Through RoboCup

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In March 2017, I joined the MathWorks Student Competitions team to focus on supporting university-level robotics competitions. The competition I spend most time with is RoboCup, which is great because RoboCup contains a variety of leagues and skill levels that keeps me sharp with almost everything going on in the field. Today I will talk about my experience in this role, and what it's been like returning to robotics and academia after more than 5 years away from the field. Let me start with a personal history lesson about my experience in robotics. I am a mechanical engineer with a background in controls, dynamics, and systems.


Bold Hearts Team Description for RoboCup 2019 (Humanoid Kid Size League)

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

We participated in the RoboCup 2018 competition in Montreal with our newly developed BoldBot based on the Darwin-OP and mostly self-printed custom parts. This paper is about the lessons learnt from that competition and further developments for the RoboCup 2019 competition. Firstly, we briefly introduce the team along with an overview of past achievements. We then present a simple, standalone 2D simulator we use for simplifying the entry for new members with making basic RoboCup concepts quickly accessible. We describe our approach for semantic-segmentation for our vision used in the 2018 competition, which replaced the lookup-table (LUT) implementation we had before. We also discuss the extra structural support we plan to add to the printed parts of the BoldBot and our transition to ROS 2 as our new middleware. Lastly, we will present a collection of open-source contributions of our team.


The f(x) e x AI is improving, rapidly.

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The World Cup is well on its way in Russia, but in the meantime, students were taking part in the Robo World Cup in Montreal. The annual contest to build and program teams of soccer-playing robots and while the Dutch don't take part in Russia, they did win the RoboCup.


Rise of the football machines: RoboCup 2018 held in Montreal – video explainer

The Guardian

RoboCup brings together some of the finest minds in technology from around the world. Established in 1997, its mission is to create a team of robots capable of beating the human World Cup champions by 2050. Judging by this footage, they still have some way to go.


Video Friday: Robot World Cup, New Co-Bots, and 1000 SpotMinis

IEEE Spectrum Robotics

Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your Automaton bloggers. We'll also be posting a weekly calendar of upcoming robotics events for the next few months; here's what we have so far (send us your events!): Let us know if you have suggestions for next week, and enjoy today's videos. Robot soccer is getting really, really good. RoboCup (which just concluded in Montreal) is basically exactly the same as human World Cup, just with fewer writhing around on the ground and clutching of ankles.


Local and foreign teams face off at RoboCup Iran Open

Al Jazeera

At least 24 teams from 11 countries, including Germany, Turkey, China, Singapore and South Korea, have competed with local teams for the 2018 robotics football cup in Tehran, Iran. The 13th RoboCup Iran Open included a number of robotic football leagues, as well as teams focused on rescue and de-mining simulations, home applications and unmanned aerial vehicle operation. A team from Leipzig University of Applied Sciences won in the football standard league championship, while a team from Iran's Qazvin Islamic Azad University won the overall trophy by winning in seven categories. RoboCup is an international research and education initiative that researches artificial intelligence and its utility for future applications while fostering interest among young students in robotics. At the opening of the event last week, Sourena Sattari, Iran's vice president for science and technology, called for an overhaul in policy to help young robotics experts find jobs and outlets for their work.