Author Archives: Joho

Preparing a source code release

Our source code has been available to the public on github since we started a new repository last summer. However, we haven’t had a stable master worthy of releasing to the public until the RoboCup in Graz.

Now we’ve decided to do a real ‘source-release’ with the code we played in the Finals which has relatively stable versions of all the major modules necessary for soccer play. In addition, we’ve added pages of documentation to the motion and vision systems, and are revamping our online documentation at our wiki. Once we finished some more documentation and get a good draft of our Team Report done, we’ll add a tag to our github account, and make an official announcement here.

Our hope is that by setting the example of sharing our code, we can convince other teams to share their code as well, and help out teams who don’t want to develop all their modules on their own. If you’re interested in providing feedback on our documentation in advance of the code release, please take a look at our GettingStarted page, and reply to this post, or email me directly (jstrom bowdoin edu).

Below is a graph from of our the git commits leading up to RoboCup 2009.

NBites Dev History

NBites Dev History

Northern Bites Places Second at RoboCup 2009 Graz

The Northern Bites played a nearly flawless first half against B-Human, starting half time with only one goal scored against us. The field was packed with spectators who were crowding the bleachers and standing on tables. B-Human, the favorites to win the match, had scored at least 7 points in every match during the tournament. To combat this legendary opponent, we pulled out some ballzy, never before seen or game-tested dribbling code which wowed onlookers.

The audience packed the stands

The audience packed the stands

In the second half, this gamble went awry, resulting in some technical difficulties with our robots. Our goalie, which made some amazing saves in the first half overheated under the battery of shots in the second half, and fell limp to the ground, letting in four goals. The final score was 0-5 for B-Human. This was the lowest scoring match B-Human played, which prior to the finals scored between 7 and 11 goals in each of their matches.
Team picture with B-Human

Team picture with B-Human

More pictures and stats after the break:
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How To: RoboCup Etiquette

This year there are 24 teams at robocup, and four fields. Needless to say, there are many people looking to use the fields for testing between matches. However, some (nearly ALL) teams, who will remain nameless, have adopted a ‘camping’ attitude to testing. While it may seem convenient to park your laptop and a few friends on the carpet, it is disadvantageous to everyone, since no one is able to test on in proper game like environment.


The proper way to test on the field is to never leave anything but active robots and standing humans.

Northern Bites beat Nao Devils 2-0

In our first match in the second round of pool play, we beat the Dortmund Nao Devils 2-0 in an exciting match. The Nao Devils were the first team we’ve played that had a moving goalie, and players which were quick to the ball. As I mentioned before, the Nao Devils have the fastest walk in the league, clocking in at 25 cm/s. Our walk currently maxes out at 10 cm/s. Despite this speed differential, our robots superior ball handling in close quarters and some goalie troubles on the opponent team lead us to score one goal in each half. In all, we had at least four really good chances to score, but narrowly pushed the ball out twice.

Tomorrow, we will play two as of yet unknown teams at 10:55 and 13:55 local time. Our opponents will be determined in penalty kicks tonight, as both their deciding intermediate rounds ended in 0-0 ties.

Northern Bites Advances to Round of 16

After two wins today, the Northern Bites will advance to the second round of pool play:

Northern Bites vs. Eagle Knights: 2-0

HTWK Leipzig vs Northern Bites: 0-2

After finally receiving back 2 more robots from the shop late last night,
we scored our first EVER goal in Nao regulation matches in our game against Eagle Knights, a veteran team from Mexico. We sealed our passage into the round of sixteen with a 2-0 closeout against the second place team from the German OPEN, the Nao-Team HTWK, from Leipzig. HTWK was plagued with technical issues, and only had functioning robots for part of the match.

In the next round, we will likely face the Nao Devils, a veteran team from Dortmund. That match will be Thursday at 13:55, local time. The top two teams from the next round will advance to the quarter finals.

A frequently updated score sheet can be found here

One robot back from the shop… Three to go

We finally got back our first robot from the Nao technicians. He had a broken arm and fried circuits. We are still waiting for three more robots to get fixed — two broken necks and a worn out hip.
This RoboCup has affirmed my belief that having lots of robots is crucial to having a successful team. With the Aibos, we had 12, now we only have 4.

In other news, our test scrimmage today was promising, (except that we were using all loaner robots which couldn’t kick). Tomorrow we’re looking forward to playing real games.

Marvin back from the shop

Marvin back from the shop

First Round Robin Pools Decided

The Northern Bites will be playing in Pool B, Field A against Eagle Knights, from Mexico and Nao-Team HTWK, from Leipzig. Our first match is Wed. July 1st at Noon, against Eagle Knights. The second is at 3pm against HTWK on the same day. All times are Austrian times (+6 hours from East coast, and +9 from the West coast).

The full listing for placements for all the teams can be found here

NBites Arrive in Graz

Andrew, Elise, Jack and I have successfully arrived in Graz, and checked into our hotel with relatively few hiccups. The madness starts tomorrow at 8 am when we will try to register at the venue. Tonight, we will try to beat the jet lag, and see if we can’t stabilize the walk some more. Tucker will join us tomorrow, and Prof. Chown on Tuesday. We’ll try to post some pictures of the venue tomorrow.

Nao Hospital

Spring Summer Training has been rough on our robots. As we prepare to leave today for Austria, all of our robots are broken in some way, and only one is usable for soccer. Two have snapped necks, Marvin has his arm in a sling, and Trillian tore her hip-flexor. We should be getting them fixed in Austria, but the wait times might be long with so many other teams in a similar state as us. Hopefully next year will bring with it a new fleet of robot reinforcements (* hint-hint barry mills *). Checkout the current team picture below:

Training for RoboCup is hard work!

Training for RoboCup is hard work!