№ 212/2010 from Jun 25, 2010
While the German national soccer team is still trembling over making it to the World Cup quarter finals, the robot soccer players of Freie Universität Berlin have already won the title as runner-up. The FUmanoids, humanoid robots designed and trained by computer science students and Professor Raúl Rojas, came in second, just behind the Darmstadt Dribblers.
The all-German final match ended one to seven against Berlin. In the preliminary round the FUmanoids won all seven games; in the semifinals they defeated the Japanese master CIT Brains five to two. The robots of Freie Universität also placed second last year.
Various kinds of robots played in the RoboCup 2010. Robots on wheels compete in two categories – in one class up to 18 centimeters in diameter and the other up to 50 centimeters. For the human-like robots, the humanoids, there are three performance categories, based on the size of the robots. The FUmanoids play in the league of robots to a maximum of 60 centimeters in height. The RoboCup included a competition testing the performance of service or rescue robots.
The FUmanoids are a student project at Freie Universität Berlin. Each year a new generation of robots is developed that then competes at the world championships. Students design and program all the components and the software of the robots. The competition is a way of including an interesting project in the students’ education. Freie Universität has been entering the RoboCup since 1999. Various types of robots have been used. Up to now, Freie Universität has been the world champion twice and come in second place six times.
For this year’s competition several innovations were built into the robots: new magnetic sensors for the servo motors, a so-called gyroscope for improving the running style, and an automatic color calibration, which helps the robots identify objects. The robots are equipped with video cameras enabling them to recognize the ball, field, and opponents.
RoboCup is a laboratory for the development of the service robots of the future, that is, for robots that will be working with human beings. The game of soccer is sufficiently complex for testing the robots, but at the same time simple enough so as not to overtax them. The demands in the RoboCup increase each year, so the technology is developed step by step. Thus, robots of the future are being created in a playful environment.
Prof. Dr. Raúl Rojas, Institute of Computer Science, Freie Universität Berlin
Tel.: +49 (0)30 / 83875130, Email. firstname.lastname@example.org
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