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