Category Archives: Team

Northern Bites on Discovery Channel Canada

Check out the Northern Bites on Discovery Channel Canada!

While we were at competition in Graz this summer, we were approached by a camera crew from the Discovery Channel. They hung around and filmed us for a few days, following our journey to the finals. It was really neat to have the camera crew there and the video came out really well. They managed to capture a lot of the excitement around the finals.

Northern Bites on Discovery Channel

Parents Weekend Scrimmage Recap

Apologies for the delay! Our Parent’s Weekend Scrimmage went off without a hitch (mostly). The lights were super dim and we had to enlist our auxiliary lighting to help out. Even so, the light was under 200, but Elise triumphed, churning out a functional color table in under 1.5 hours.

The team had a great showing, with 11 members participating. The new guys all got some experience with photo taking and the pre-game warm up. Photo taking this year is greatly expedited by the ability to stream and save images directly in the TOOL.

The scrimmage itself was a success. We played 2-on-1 for two regulation halves which ended in a 1-1 tie. The bots moved considerably slower than in Graz, but stayed stable for the whole game.

Check out the video below for the full match.
Parents Weekend 2009

Bowdoin to host US OPEN SPL May 2nd – 3rd

We are proud to be hosting the US OPEN for the Standard Platform League this year. The event will be held in Bowdoin’s brand-new Watson hockey arena on May 2nd and 3rd. Currently we expect attendance from all the US Teams: CMU, UPenn, UT Austin and of course the Northern Bites.
We are excited to be the first non-hockey or athletics related event host in this venue. The venue has great lighting, a superb sound system, and also the built-in capability to do webcasting. We expect the venue to be open to the public from 9 to 5 both Saturday and Sunday. The finals will be held Sunday afternoon.

Interior of Watson Arena

Interior of Watson Arena

pSuzhou – the beginnings of something great (RoboCup Day 0)

On the bus to Suzhou from the Shanghai airport, Jack and I started writing what is the fastest behavior ever written – it was created today (Sunday) and will play soccer by Wednesday (knock on wood). Even in 2006, our behavioral code was started at least 2 weeks before competition. It will certainly be an adventure!

Our trip to get here went about as smooth as can be expected. No one got any sleep before our 3:00am meet up time in the Lab, and the 45-min taxi ride in a Lincoln Navigator turned out not be as cramped as we expected, considering the enormous size of our robot cases.

In Portland, Jack and I managed to get away with paying only 80 dollars apiece for our overweight and oversize luggage that could have cost us upto $300 per leg. What a steal! (Mike and Todd had to pay $360, and they’re luggage didn’t even make it to Shanghai on the right flight!) Our 1hr layover in Atlanta turned out to be plently long enough to make it from C55 (where our flight arrived) all the way to the E concourse to catch our 777 to shanghai. Bowdoin RoboCup represented in row 50, while the rest of the plane was pretty empty. The 15hr flight turned out to be just as long as you’d expect a 15 hour flight to be – long enough to take several hour long naps, watch a movie or two, and read some of my book, and still have time to watch the plane inch slowly across the map view in the headrest in front of me.

Once we got to Shanghai, I tried to take money from an ATM, but it said my Bank refused the payment. Instead I found a pretty decent exchange rate right next to the luggage pickup where you pay a flat 59 RMB commission on the exchange – the rate was something like 6.75 RMB/dollar. Once we got our luggage, we were met by some local volunteers who helped us sort out our ATA Carnet, and get through customs. Mainly we had to wait a long time for them to process CMUs Carnet – they never even looked through our luggage, and approved our paperwork quickly. As should be expected with technology, neither of the two cellphones I brought worked when I turned them on. The Bowdoin one refused to acquire any service – maybe it doesn’t work on the 900Mhz band? The other one I managed to borrow from Dave probably needs to get some minutes charged into it – it says Emergency Use Only – at least it gets service!

Exiting from Customs in Terminal 1, we met the rest of the group, who had already been informed by another volunteer that we had another team member waiting in Terminal 2. One of them even helped guide us to the other terminal, which was a relief. In Terminal 2, we met up with Todd and Mike from UT Austin, whose robot’s unfortunately hadn’t made it on the same flight. After grabbing Tucker and Henry, we were again guided to the tour bus, which took about 3 hours or so, and finally dropped off at our hotel. A deluge of volunteers processed all the RoboCuppers on the Bus, and got us meal tickets and room keys. Tomorrow we will start breakfast at 6am, in time to be at the Venue for the 7am opening.

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 SLOC readings are higher…

In July 2006, after our first world robocup competition in Bremen, we ran David Wheeler’s SLOCCount on our codebase, when our SLOCCount was 33K. Today, I ran the script again, and our SLOC readings are nearly twice as high.
The big changes come from another 10K lines of C code for recognizing lines and the new goals, and 16K lines of Python code that define the behaviors we used to win last summer:

Total Physical Source Lines of Code (SLOC) = 60,496
Development Effort Estimate, Person-Years (Person-Months) = 14.85 (178.25)
Estimated Average Number of Developers (Effort/Schedule) = 9.95
Total Estimated Cost to Develop = $ 2,006,571
(average salary = $56,286/year, overhead = 2.40).
SLOCCount, Copyright (C) 2001-2004 David A. Wheeler

I’d be curious to know what the SLOCCount of other Aibo teams is – especially the GermanTeam, and the NUBots.

October is scrimmage month

October is going to be a crazy month: we’ve got three scrimmages lined up. Mainly these are just to get us back in the game, and give the newbies a look at what they’re working for. The first scrimmage will be this Friday in the lab, with special guests Mitch Davis and Allen Delong. Then the next week we are showing off to the Trustees in Lancaster Lounge. Finally, at the end of the month, we’re going all out for a robot-extravaganza Saturday morning of Parents Weekend. Maybe with special guest BMills. We will be on the big floor in the Union; probably you’ll be able to watch from the webcam. While the first two are private scrimmages, anyone is welcome to attend the one on Parents Weekend. Hope to see you there!

Northern Bites’ ranks swell

As of today, we have addded 3 more students to our team; Seth, Yuna and Andy. The sophomores will spend the next couple weeks learning the ropes, and then aid us in our quest for world domination. The extra man power will be crucial once we start developement on two robot platforms at once (Aibo and Nao). The rest of us (George, Nick, Jeremy and I) are starting to get back into the swing of robocup. We’ve nailed down many planned improvements, and have set our sights on a repeat victory in China. Our first out-of-lab test match will be in early October, pitting our code from Atlanta against code from Hannover in Dagget lounge.

Northern Bites goes to China Rose, Eats Food

Eight of the fearsome robotics dudes from Bowdoin College went to the mid-coast Maine famous China Rose buffet restaurant today–and man did we eat some food. Me, Chown-Dawg, Joho, Mark, Tucker, Jeremy, George, and newbie Seth came along.

Don’t forget, team, that we have a meeting on Thursday at 4pm in the Lab to strategize for work to be done over winter break.