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!

RoboCup German Open 2020 cancelled

Sadly, the RoboCup Major competitions of the RoboCup German Open in April have been cancelled due to the corona virus pandemic. The University of Koblenz-Landau has also cancelled all on-campus courses for the time being, so we will have to stop cuddling up in our small lab. Even so, we are optimistic that the RoboCup world cup in June will take place (Fingers crossed!). We will do our best to prepare for it from home and by taking extra safety measures when testing with the robots in the lab.

Lisa always goes with the times. Here she is right after executing her new „Hamsterkauf“ module. (Adapted from an image by Stephanie Lieske/BW Bildung und Wissen)
Lisa always goes with the times. Here she is right after executing her new „Hamsterkauf“ module. (Adapted from an image by Stephanie Lieske/BW Bildung und Wissen)
Manuel and Farabi at work testing gesture recognition on Lisa (see the screen on the right for a visualization of the detected poses). This picture was taken last week before the cancellation of all on-campus courses, so excuse the lack of social distancing ;-)
Manuel and Farabi at work testing gesture recognition on Lisa (see the screen on the right for a visualization of the detected poses). This picture was taken last week before the cancellation of all on-campus courses, so excuse the lack of social distancing ;-)

Lisa visits RobertaLab

Last Friday, Lisa took part in the season closing event of RobertaLab. RobertaLab offers robotics and programming workshops for girls. You can find out more on their website: RobertaLab Koblenz

Since RobertaLab also takes place at the University of Koblenz, this was just a short walk to another building for Lisa (it was slightly longer for the human companions who had to make the trip multiple times because of forgotten power wires and keyboards). Lisa served as a greeter at the beginning of the event and later supported the certificate awarding ceremony with complementary praises, all with her unique German accent.

Lisa and the RobertaLab 19/20 participants.
Lisa and the RobertaLab 19/20 participants.

Afterwards, the RobertaLab participants showcased their Lego Mindstorms projects. Maybe some of them will join team homer for the RoboCup 2030? We hope that Lisa will get a new paint job by then.

Lisa watches the presentation.
Lisa watches the presentation.
Lisa and her smaller relatives, the Robertas.
Lisa and her smaller relatives, the Robertas.