Team Homer competition recap ERL 2022!

Team Homer again live at competition(s)!

Facing many uncertainties caused by COVID-19, we haven’t been not sure whether we would be able to compete at any competition, only if it is close enough or if we could show what we had developed and learned at any other occasion. Initially, we had planned to participate in the RoboCup German Open at Magdeburg, Germany, 2022, if it would take place again – it hasn’t. We had already qualified and registered for RoboCup World Championship in Bangkok, Thailand, but with the surge in new COVID-19 variants, we have been skeptical if it would be wise and save to travel this far (not taking the costs into account yet). We decided to not take any risks here and canceled our registration, hoping that next year, things get better still. Finally, we decided to participate in the current ERL 2022 season at the local tournament in Oldenburg, Germany, in the beginning of May as it hasn’t been that far away and even in the case of infection, re-planning and improvising would work. We even had one false-positive alarm shortly before we started our journey… Lucky us that this hasn’t happened before trying to enter any airplane or something like this. We were able to take a few core elements from our RoboCup preparations, but there was still a lot of work to do as we had little more than a month for this. We decided to try to complete all the tasks specified in the ERL rulebook: Keeping Grandma Annie comfortable, visiting my home, getting to know my home, and welcoming visitors. Despite the shortage of time and other restrictions, we’ve been still pleased with how things have gone back again in physical presence.

We managed to win two out of the three Task Benchmarks in which we took part in (“Welcoming Visitors” and “Catering for Annie Grannie’s Comfort”)! Working and competition atmosphere were great with our competitors SCC (Serious Cybernetics Cooperation) from the Hochschule Ravensburg-Weingarten and our hosts of at OFFIS in Oldenburg! We really enjoyed it and hope to see you all again soon. 🙂

All in one we were very happy to finally see Lisa and TIAGo competing live once again. All this was exciting because only a part of the team was allowed to be on site. The members who have stayed home remotely helped with things as labeling data for the training neural networks for object recognition.

Over the past seven months, the current team has gained a lot of experience. From fields as object recognition and manipulation to robot-human interaction, we have been able to gain a wide range of practical knowledge that will help us in the future.

We are very grateful to have been a part of it.

As usual, stay safe and healthy and see you soon!

Best regards Team Homer

Greetings from Team Homer!

Greetings from Team Homer! And by the way, our good intentions for this year include giving some insights more regularly again. However, we would like to mention that the situation in Europe has changed due to the heinous war in Ukraine, which is also affecting us and we hope that it will end as quickly as possible.

As usual, our latest news appears first on our blog and is then shared on our social media channels like Instagram, Twitter and our Youtube channel. Facebook still locks us out because they changed their policy on non-individual human profiles and their support kinda sucks. So which platforms do you use and where do you prefer to find us? Have you given up on Facebook yet? With the COVID-19 pandemic additionally still going on, it’s hard to plan ahead, but when things stabilise, we hope to enter some competitions this year. There is the European Robotics League for example, which has been rescheduled for spring/summer 2022, and of course the RoboCup 2022 in Bangkok, Thailand in July.

In the upcoming post we will introduce you to the team, stay tuned! We hope that you are all in good health and doing as well as possible under these conditions!

Best regards from Koblenz and stay safe! ^TH

Stay home and win an AtHome world championship!

TL;DR Team homer@UniKoblenz won the OPL @Home league 2021 from home!

It’s been relatively calm here lately, but in the last days the virtual RoboCup 2021 took place and we took part in the @Home Open Platform League – as we would do when physically present. This year, the whole competition was held online and our robot( model)s did their best to solve tasks in a fully virtual environment. We sent our virtual TIAGo robot into the ring, who had then to deliver requested food from a storage cabinet (“Go Get It”) or clean up randomly distributed trash and known items from different categories to their correct locations (“Clean Up”). These two tasks from Stage 1 had to happen in atmost 5 minutes (simulated time), on 3 days with only one try for OPL teams – so, if something fails, your loss, zero points.

After a thrillingly close Stage 1 with only 5 points in difference to our French fellow researchers, competitors (and often also referees) from team CATIE, who led with 175 points in total, we ranked second place. So the decision had to fall in Stage 2, a nerve wracking 15 minutes Clean Up run, where stuff like colliding robots or glitching objects may happen any time, destroying your previous hard work.

Cutting this short for now: We had to restart after 6 minutes, in which we almost lost hopes, but then TIAGo managed to take one object after the other, detecting them correctly, thus being able to place them at their target locations (damn you fork, though for rotating somehow! See future video). We scored 100 points and reached the first place in the end! Stay tuned for the run’s full video, when it’s cut and ready! :)

Let’s quickly mention all who deserve acknowledgement for their work: For this year’s RoboCup team homer consisted of Robbie 36 members Robin Bartsch, Janine Buchholz, Kevin Fischer Rios and Maximilian Grothe, project’s student assistant researcher Niklas Yann Wettengel and me, Daniel Müller, research associate at the Active Vision Group. Now all get some missing sleep and recharge properly! :)

I want to conclude for now with a great thanks to everbody making RoboCup @Home leagues possible even in a pandemic! Also best regards to all teams who particpated in it, it was really fun with all of you! See you (physically) next year or so, when hopefully everybody is vaccinated. :)

Best regards

Daniel

Virtually visit us at CV-Tag 2020!

With this year’s robotic competitions all postponed due to COVID-19, our team’s non-robot members had to put health first in the last few months, keeping distance to each other and our labs. Despite restricted physical access to our robots, everyone worked from home to improve their RoboCup game implementations. Using prerecorded sensory data, we have been able to simulate scenarios in which Lisa and TIAGo normally have to solve tasks on their own. In the past few weeks, our laboratories could slowly be reopened, paying careful attention to a maximum number of people on site and general hygiene measures.

For now, we invite you to “come” see us at CV-Tag 2020 (“day of computational visualistics 2020”), an annual event at Campus Koblenz of University of Koblenz-Landau where students present their projects and thesis results. This year, the event will completely take place online. So you will be able to examine various fascinating results from whereever you currently are! The projects will be shown in a live stream, including our final presentation of this year’s student team. Due to the circumstances, we have to be economic about the time spent at the university and the number of people involved in filming videos, but we are doing our best to compile an interesting roundup of our results anyway! :)

Other highlights of the event include presentations by companies, interviews and a big raffle at the end. If you’re interested in the CV-Tag event, have a look at pictures from last year and add the Facebook event to your agenda.

See you there!