We just got back from RoboCup 2016 in Leipzig, Germany, where things went really well this year. Like last year we had a joint teen-size team with Amirkabir University of Technology. We came in third in the world in the teen-size (<1.4m) soccer competition. We also took first place in this year's technical challenge competition (push recovery, i.e. a robot being able to remain on its feet after being pushed, high jumps, and high kicks).. Working with larger size robots is a challenge, with greater requirements on servos, batteries, and transportation logistics. Many thanks to our partners at AUT, and the students and faculty from our lab that put work into this: Amirhossein Hosseinmemar, Kile Morris, Abdul-Rasheed Audu, Chi Fung (Andy) Lun, Long Yu, Meng Cheng (MC) Lau, John Anderson, and Jacky Baltes. Jacky, John, MC, and Kyle made the trip to Germany so many thanks for all the hours put in while at RoboCup too! Some of the team are still traveling, so more pictures and video will be available shortly.
We also found out that our bid to bring the event to Canada for the first time (Montreal, 2018) was successful, so congratulations to Jacky for being named the 2018 RoboCup General Chair!
Our joint teen-size team with Amirkabir University of Technology was a huge success at RoboCup! We came in third in the world in the teen-size (<1.4m) soccer competition, losing our semi-final match to Team Parand from Iran, the new world champion. We also won second in this year's technical challenges (push recovery, i.e. a robot being able to remain on its feet after being pushed, goal kicks from a moving ball, high kicks, and high jumps), behind team NTUST Teen from NTUST, Taiwan. Working with larger size robots is a bigger challenge yet than our more usual kid-size work, and reaching the stage where we can place at RoboCup is a big reward. Many thanks to our partners at AUT, and the students and faculty from our lab that put work into this: Amirhossein Hosseinmemar, Chris Iverach-Brereton, Brittany Postnikoff, Dewin White, Jamillo Santos, Kiral Poon, John Anderson, and Jacky Baltes. Jacky, Jamillo, and Kiral made the trip to China so many thanks for all the hours put in while at RoboCup!
Our work with Jennifer, detailed in the previous post, has won first place in the 2015 DARwIn-OP Humanoid Application Challenge at ICRA-2015 in Seattle (ICRA is the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society's flagship conference ). Congratulations to everyone in the lab who has worked on this, and to Jacky Baltes, Chris Iverach-Brereton, and Brittany Postnikoff, who went to the conference to present this work!
Jennifer, who you last saw outside playing Hockey and is one of our most experienced FIRA HuroCup robots, has now learned new skills: cross country and alpine skiing. Cross Country and Alpine skiing is our entry to the 2015 DARwIn-OP Humanoid Application Challenge at ICRA-2015 in Seattle in May (ICRA is the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society's flagship conference ).
This is the latest extension of our work furthering our research into dynamic balancing and walking under realistic conditions. The changing nature of snowy ground, and the rapid control response required by alpine skiing, present significant challenges to gait design and dynamic balancing in Humanoid Robots, as does the challenge of operating this equipment in cold weather.
Please see the Youtube Video for Jennifer in action, and thanks to Gadgetify for creating the gif below from it. This work has really made the rounds of the media, including CBC, CTV, FOX (we like the phrase "the future looks adorable!"), Der Spiegel, German Radio 7, The Winnipeg Free Press, Metro, many international papers through the UPI, IEEE Spectrum, Gadgetify, Design Engineering, Motherboard on Vice,, CNet and Tomorrow Daily.