TU/e soccer robots world champions for a third time7 July 2016
The soccer robots of TU/e team Tech United have won their third world title at the RoboCup World Cup. In their ninth final in a row, the Eindhoven robots were taken to a penalty shoot-out by Water, the team from the university of Beijing. The TU/e care robot also turned in an excellent performance to take second place in the @Home-League.
The soccer match against Water, of the Beijing Information Science and Technology University, could not have been more exciting. At half-time Tech United held a 2-1 lead, with most of the action taking place around the Chinese goal. But a counter attack five minutes from the final whistle saw the Water robots score the equalizer.
In overtime a Chinese robot quickly picked up a red card but the Eindhoven robots could not take advantage of the extra player. The Chinese even went ahead, but at 2-3 the Eindhoven team managed to score an equalizer within half a minute. In the last minute of overtime it seemed to be curtains when the Chinese hit the target again but the goal was disallowed. So, the robots went into a penalty shootout.
The Chinese took the first five penalties but the Eindhoven keeper saved every one of them, leaving the Eindhoven soccer robots needing to score just one penalty to regain their title. No messing around - the first penalty hit the back of the net, and the TU/e team could celebrate. “I’m speechless,” was team coach and TU/e student Lotte de Koning’s relieved reaction straight after the match. “It was so incredibly tense!”
The @Home League is a competition for robots that act as home helpers. The care robot team of the TU Eindhoven took second place. While this was a good result, team leader Janno Lunenburg was somewhat disappointed. “In the preliminary rounds this year we lagged a little behind our main competitors but we were the best in the final. Unfortunately, that was not enough to pull back the difference in points and take first spot,” the team leader explained.
His care robots, AMIGO and SERGIO, picked up points mainly in the restaurant challenge and in the person recognition component but did not do so well in object recognition and manipulation. Lunenburg: “That’s a shame because it had gone much better in testing.”
The German city of Leipzig was host to the RoboCup 2016, from 30 June till 3 July, with 3500 participants from more than 40 countries. The aim of the RoboCup tournaments is to accelerate the development of affordable and reliable autonomous robotics, like robots for help in the home that can contribute to older people being able to live at home independently for longer.
Source: TU/e press team
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