Category Archives: Robots

Public scrimmage this Sunday May 11th, 2 pm Maine Lounge

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scrimamge-poster, originally uploaded by northern_bites.

Just a heads up that if you’re in the area, and you’d like to watch our team scrimmage, we are holding a public scrimmage this Sunday in Maine Lounge in Moulton Union. We will be playing the Aibos on the larger field, 5 on 5, and also have a small demonstration of our new Humanoid robots.

Public scrimmages are a great way for us to get off of our scaled down field in the lab, and onto the regulation sized pitch. Also it will allow us to setup our Nao field for the first time.

Directions here:

View Larger Map

Our first Nao is on the FedEx truck for delivery!

After an announcement yesterday that Aldebaran finally sent the first of our Nao, we got a tracking number this morning which shows the yet unnamed robot’s journey through Paris, Newark and then finally Portland. This morning at 7 am it was put on a truck for delivery, so it should make here by tonight! Stay tuned for unboxing pics and more coverage.

Aibo league upgrades field size, team size

Today the Aibo technical comittee announced a portion of the updated rules for Robocup 2008. The size of the field will be increased by 25% in each dimension, to 5m by 7.5m. This represents an extra 50% of field area! To help take advantage of the new field size, teams will now consist of 5, instead of 4 robots per field. This will be a great opertunity to increase the high level soccer strategy of our team. Since the field is getting larger, the comittee has also hinted that the field lines will get wider to aid in line recognition. The official rules have yet to be published, so we’ll post the details then. The comittee has also called for qualification documents for entry to the Nao league. Presumably our paper will be mostly about why our success in the Aibo league will transfer to success in the Nao league.

Four-Legged League Chooses Humanoid Robot, Changes name to Standard Platform League

The email from Thomas Rofer:

Dear Teams,

the RoboCup Federation has decided to accept the proposal of Aldebaran Robotics (http://www.aldebaran-robotics.com) to provide their humanoid robot Nao as successor of the AIBO in the Standard Platform League (the former Four-Legged League), at least for two years.

The Four-Legged League is renamed to “Standard Platform League”. The main property of this league is that all teams the same platform, i.e. there is no hardware development. In 2008, there will be two competitions: The AIBO competition (for the last time) and the Nao competition. We currently assume that there will be 24 teams in both competitions together (e.g. 8 teams in the Nao league and 16 in the AIBO league).

Aldebaran Robotics will starting the production of the Nao in the beginning of 2008. They plan to be able to provide 2 robots to a limited number of teams at the end of February 2008 and another 2 at the end of May.

The pricing is currently intended to be:

Single Nao: 4500 Euro + VAT
RoboCup Package of 4 Naos: 11000 Euro + VAT
Additional Nao if you already bought the RoboCup package: 3600 Euro + VAT

There will be an official call for participation later. However, for planning purposes it would be nice to know how many teams would like to participate in the Nao league under these conditions. If more teams are interested in participation than Aldebaran Robotics can provide robots for, there will be some kind of qualification procedure.

Since the “Four-Legged League” is renamed to “Standard Platform League”, there now exist a number of aliases for the existing sources of information:

http://www.tzi.de/spl (currently just a forward)
spl_tech@tzi.de
spl_orga@tzi.de
spl_web@tzi.de

The 4legged/legged variants will keep working for quite a while.

Best regards

Thomas Röfer

This feels right. As long as the robot is able to move around reasonably well, this league could prove to be very popular. They knew what they were doing: while all other companies were focused on building the most hackable, flexible, upgradable solution, Aldebaran made a really great looking robot. As long as it’s not a dud, that’s all that matters. It brings excitement to the league.

4-Legged Demonstration, Microsoft

Here’s an announcement I missed announcing Microsoft’s sponsorship of RoboCup 2007 and news that there will be a demonstration of new 4-legged league candidate robots in Atlanta.

Microsoft’s foray into this RoboCup is to show off their software package Robotics Studio. I haven’t read much about it but it sounds interesting. Also, Bill Gates has made some posturing talk towards robotics interest for Microsoft. Of course, Microsoft has sponsored Dortmund University’s team for many years and we saw lots of Microsoft representation and people at RoboCup 2006 in Germany.

As for the new 4-legged league announcement, it says that the “winning robot hardware platforms” will be showed off. Here’s hoping that the interest from robotics companies is high and the field (beyond of course the inevitably kick-ass NUBot platform) is formidable.