Germany Wrap

We ended up in 9th place in the main competition (our final match was an exciting 3-1 loss that was tied with less than 5 minutes remaining), and 8th place in the drop-in competition. It is worth reminding ourselves that this in “9th in the world” not “9th in NESCAC”. It is a tremendous achievement for a group of undergraduates. None of the teams that were in front of us consisted of all undergraduates and only one even had a majority of undergraduates on their team.

Some other notes: Team members Kote Mushegian and Bella Tumaneng were named to be the head referee and game controller for the championship match. This effectively means that they were considered to be the best referees in the tournament. What really stands out about that, is that neither had any international experience at those jobs going into the tournament.

The final featured B-Human against U.S. Open champion Austin Villa. It ended in a 0-0 draw, with B-Human winning a penalty shootout.

The two time defending champions, UNSW Australia, did not manage to score a single goal all tournament and did not make the final 16. This clearly reflects how much RoboCup changes each year and how much harder one year can be from the previous year. This year the biggest change was the new ball and UNSW almost could not see it at all.

The changes are expected to be a little more modest for next year, but we can expect to see 1) artificial grass (much tougher for robots to walk on effectively), and 2) more natural lighting.

Game 6: Bowdoin 2 – NTU Robot PAL 0

We played a really good game to win our most crucial match of the tournament. We took the pressure off with a goal early in the first half (video later). Similar story in the second half. We saw a few bugs that we’ll try and get out before our next match. We’ll have a play-in game for a spot in the world quarterfinals. As it is now, we are in the final 12.

Game 5: Bowdoin 0 – Nao-Team HTWK 5

We lost to Leipzig 5-0. Actually that isn’t a bad result as they have been one of the top 3 teams in the league for about six years now and play a style that is very tough for us (they are amazingly quick and great with the ball). Our goalie made one amazing save, but sadly had a few problems on balls that he would normally stop. We’re still in great position in our pool, if we do well in our next game we’ll have a chance to advance to the final 8.

Game 4: Bowdoin 0 – Penn 0

A very exciting game that was a mild heartbreaker. In both halves we had the ball in the Penn goal box with a robot kicking repeatedly at it. In both halves it repeatedly bounced off Penn players (who weren’t seeing it) and in the 2d half also off the goal post. But no joy! But we played really well and at least salvaged a tie. Before our next game we’re going to put our old kick back.

Game 3: Bowdoin 2 – DAInamite 0

We won! On to the round of 16 tomorrow.

It was an exciting game. Very early we kicked the ball into the other team’s goal box and had two robots surrounding it. Between the goalie and our two robots not cooperating well it took us about 4 minutes to score from there. In the second half we scored a nice goal about midway through and DAInamite came back and put the ball right on the goal line. Meanwhile our goalie had fallen and didn’t see the ball. But another robot came in and cleared the ball in an incredibly clutch play – it looked for a moment like it would be a certain own goal.

Game Two: Bowdoin 0 – Camellia Dragons 0

We were just the first team in RoboCup history to have to play a game less than an hour after the finish of the previous game. And it showed. We looked pretty awful. Including not really being able to stand after falling (hot robots with tired batteries). No excuses though, we did a number of other things poorly. On the bright side, we have 4 points after two games and almost certainly will be playing tomorrow.

RoboCup 2016 Game 1: Northern Bites 1 – RoboEireann 0

Our first game in Germany was a doozy. We started out by kicking the ball within 3 inches of the goal post in the first minute. We then marched in to finish the job only to accidentally knick it out of bounds. Then bad things started happening. First we started to have trouble picking up the ball (now a half a field away), but then all five of our robots crashed at once in a way that we have never seen before! Yikes! The rest of the half was a mess and ended 0-0. The crashes had us very worried, but Wasp scored in the first two minutes of the second half. We had a bit of trouble after that, but managed to keep Ireland out of the net. This puts us in great position in our first pool as before the tournament Ireland and Bowdoin would have been considered co-favorites in the pool.