Changing Planet

Soccer-playing Robots from Germany Win 2009 RoboCup

Robots from the University of Stuttgart, Germany, are the winners of this year’s RoboCup.

“The cooperative soccer-playing robots of the Universität Stuttgart are world champions in the middle size league of robot soccer,” the University said in a news statement.

“After one of the most interesting competitions in the history of RoboCup from 29th June to 5th July, 2009, in Graz, the 1. RFC Stuttgart [team] on the last day of the competition succeeded in winning the world championship 2009 in an exciting game against the team of Tech United from Eindhoven (The Netherlands) with the final result of 4-1.”

Stuttgart’s robots competed against 13 other teams, from eight countries, among them the current world champion Cambada (Portugal). Besides the teams from Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Portugal, and Austria, teams from China, Japan, and Iran competed against each other.

The 1.RFC Stuttgart team included staff of two of the university’s Institutes, the Department of Image Understanding of the Institute of Parallel and Distributed Systems and the Institute of Technical Optics. The team also won the prize for first place in the “scientific challenge” and placed second in the category “technical challenge.”

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Robocup champions picture courtesy University of Stuttgart

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“After the final match of the competition, the middle-size league robots of the 1. RFC Stuttgart–the new world champions–had to play against the human officials of the RoboCup Federation. It turned out … the robots were the inferior team. Clearly the RoboCup community has still to bridge a vast distance to reach their final goal to let a humanoid robot team play against the human world champion by the year 2050,” the university said.

Success in the RoboCup competition requires state-of-the-art real-time image processing and architectures, cooperative robotics, and distributed planning, the university added.

“Possible application scenarios of these research activities reach from autonomous vehicles, cooperative manufacturing robotics, service robotics to the point of planetary or deep-sea exploration by autonomous robotic systems.

“In this context autonomous means that no, or only a limited, human intervention is necessary.”

Video: Best of RoboCup 2009 Graz (with finals)

Forty years in U.S., UK, and South African media gives David Braun global perspective and experience across multiple storytelling platforms. His coverage of science, nature, politics, and technology has been published/broadcast by the BBC, CNN, NPR, AP, UPI, National Geographic, TechWeb, De Telegraaf, Travel World, and Argus South African Newspapers. He has published two books and won several journalism awards. He has 120,000 followers on social media. David Braun edits the National Geographic Society blog, hosting a global discussion on issues resonating with the Society's mission and initiatives. He also directs the Society side of the Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship, awarded to Americans seeking the opportunity to spend nine months abroad, engaging local communities and sharing stories from the field with a global audience. Follow David on Facebook  Twitter  LinkedIn

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