Jennifer is our new autonomous hockey-playing robot. The related video in the videos section of this site has been submitted to the DARWIN-OP Humanoid Application Challenge, at IEEE ICRA in St. Paul in May. The challenges of humanoid hockey over soccer include balancing on skates on a slippery surface, Manipulating a puck with a stick as opposed to the robot's feet (i.e. arm and leg motions), and making shots oriented from the side as opposed to the front from the standpoint of perception. There are also interesting issues in keeping equipment operational at low temperatures. Jennifer is named after Jennifer Botterill, the Canadian three-time Olympic gold medal hockey player.
Thanks for all the cool mentions in tech blogs on this, including IEEE Spectrum, Engadget, ITWorld, Science News Blog, Tecca, and Geek.com. A nod also to Total Pro Sports and Yahoo Sports - it's not often we cross over the pro sporting side of the media.
We just returned from the FIRA Roboworld Cup in Kaohsiung Taiwan, competing in the FIRA Hurocup. Among the events, we won second place in the Marathon, completing an 84m track in 8 minutes 50 seconds, a full four minutes faster than the previous world record. Images from FIRA-11 are in the associated Gallery, and videos can be found in the videos section of our website
We are very happy to have Prof. Wong Ching-Chang from the Department of Electrical Engineering, Tamkang University, Taiwan, as a research visitor to our laboratory and our department. Prof. Wong is a well-known researcher in robotics, and his research team have been consistent winners in the FIRA robotics competitions in recent years. You can read more about their recent FIRA accomplishments here.