Northern Bites competes remotely at the German Open

Today kicked off the first day of the German Open 2008, in Hannover. This is the first time we’ve ever tried to compete in an event without actually being there. It is also the first time we’ve ever played on a 5×7.5m field. Although these hurdles might seem trivial, I was ecstatic to see them actually play real soccer in our first test match. To setup our robots, we get images and logs over the internet from the German Team, who have agreed to help us and Cerberus compete remotely.

Despite some technical issues, we were able to produce a decent calibration, and have for the first time, ( to my limited knowledge) played another RoboCup team remotely. In our test game against the german team, both teams remained scoreless after 10 minutes of play, though the German Team came awfully close to scoring on us once or twice. Soon after, we won the first regulation game against Cerberus 7- 0.

Looking at over videos of our performance, it looks like we are having some issues with getting accurate ball distances, as well as some issues with our kick not performing so well occasionally. As always, wireless connectivity is extremely buggy, and it appears our communications were lagging a bit in our game against Cerberus. After some debugging in our lab today, tomorrow should bring better performance in our color table, as well as slightly better role switching.

Read after the break for some technical details about remote competition:

Initially, we thought it would be easy enough to use the color lookup table generated by the german team and convert to our format, but it did not quite work. Most likely the problem is that we calibrate of raw images, while the german team calibrates off of compressed images. In our experience, we cannot directly generate a color table from compressed images, because the color distortion becomes a pretty big factor. Instead of try to find a better converted for their table, we decided to just use our normal approach, so we’ve been building our color table from just about 200 raw images we got from our logging stick.

Once we get everything working on our side, we tar up the stick directory, and then send them to the Daniel and Max from the German Team, who put them onto their dogs. So far this has worked pretty well.

Leave a Reply