We ended up 3rd and won a poster award

There was not a lot of time for blogging during the RoboCup German Open this year. But now we want to summarize our attendance.

Sadly we had a lot of issues. The pain from the robot inspection followed us to Stage 1. We reached 0 points in the complete Stage 1. In half of the cases the robots were to shy for entering the arena at all. Not much to describe here. We learned a lot for the actual world championship in Sydney. Our strategy to solve a lot of the tasks from the rulebook to show a broad set of abilities turned out to be a mediocre strategy. Focusing on one task would have been better. And testing more often under real conditions. Stage 2 went a lot better, such that we managed to end up 3rd in the end.

During the award ceremony
During the award ceremony.

In Stage 2 we managed to keep up. In the Clean the Table task we managed to put a plate into the dishwasher. The robot was aware that the actual grasping failed and asked for assistance of a surrounding person. We were the best team in this task.

Clean the table task
Clean the table task.

In the “Where is this” task the robot gave a natural instruction of how to get to some piece of furniture that someone asked to get to. This was fine for one person. But the goal of this task is to get along with all different kinds of people. The second person asked Lisa for a direction but Lisa understood the command not clearly and didn’t state that.

Restaurant setup
Restaurant setup.

The restaurant where the “Restaurant” task took place was very busy which confused not just Lisa but all robots that took part.

Restaurant from behind
Restaurant from behind.

At the end of the day ToBi was leading ahead of CATIE (a new but very impressive team) which was ahead of us by quite some points.

Us, after the competition week
Us, after the competition week.

Preparation, Robot Inspection, Poster

The last two days were meant for preparation. We mounted the fixed joint, labeled objects, mapped and tested a lot.

First preparation day: Assembling the robots.
First preparation day: Assembling the robots..

Yesterday there was the robot inspection. Both robots were very shy entering the arena on the first trial (and on the second trial … third trial :)). But finally when they were not surrounded by that many other robots they took their chance to get the robot inspection done such that the team could focus on testing the Stage 1 tasks. This year there was a major revision. There are two task categories. The first one is Party Host, which is as the name suggest focused on organizing a party. This means welcoming visitors, serving drinks and finding mates. After a successful party there is a lot of stuff to do. This is tested in tasks like taking out the garbage, cleaning up and serving as a general purpose robot (Housekeeper).

Testing on Lisa during preparation day..
Testing on Lisa during preparation day...
And TIAGo during a test run.
And TIAGo during a test run..

Today, during the official runs for stage 1, our robots continued being a bit to shy for the arena.. Because most of the teams reached a rather similar scoring, the jury descided that all the nine participating teams will be qualified for stage 2.

TIAGo after the Takeout the Garbage task
TIAGo after the Takeout the Garbage task.

Tomorrow, it’s time for stage 2. Like in the previous stage, there are again two task categories. Being a good Party Host, the robots should be able to take orders from waving customer in a restaurant. In tasks like ‘Where is this’ the ability to remember and describe locations of objects is tested and ‘Procter & Gamble: Clean the table’ challenges the robots in their manipulation abilities. We’re very ambitious to achieve a good scoring tomorrow — the two best teams will reach the finals. Stay tuned and don’t forget to follow us on instagram!

RoboCup GermanOpen in Magdeburg

We just packed our three robots. Starting from tomorrow we are in Magdeburg for the RoboCup GermanOpen. We compete against 8 other teams from all over the world. Among them are Mexico, India, France, Netherlands and of course some more German teams. This year there has been a major revision of the rulebook. In total there are now optionally up to 20 tasks in two scenarios that the robot could attend. Those tasks have to be chosen wisely as there is just a limited amount of time.

This is how everything looks packed. The lab is now empty.
This is how everything looks packed. The lab is now empty..
And this is how the car looks like. Chris obviously would enjoy to travel with the car.
And this is how the car looks like. Chris obviously would enjoy to travel with the car..

The past three weeks had be an up and down. Due to a hardware issue with TIAGo which PAL Robotics fixed quite fast we could not use TIAGo the last three weeks and hope that the fixed part will arrive by tomorrow.

This year the University of Koblenz and University of Bielefeld are chairing the @Home league together. The first two days are meant for preparation. The poster session and robot inspection are scheduled for the second preparation day.

Twist your fingers for us. We will distribute updates in the blog, on facebook and instagram.

Update: this morning we received the fixed joint.

We won two leagues of the European Robotics League

Last week during the European Robotics Forum we were awarded with two prizes in two different leagues. First we won the “Best Team” Award in the Customer Service Robotics league. We have a long tradition in this league tracing back to the RoCKIn competitions. For the first time, we tried to compete in the European Robotics League for Professional Service Robots and succeeded. The Customer Service Robotics league focusses on benchmarking robots in domestic scenarios where the Professional Service Robotics league focusses on more industrial settings. This year the difficulty for Customer Robotics was slightly increased i.e. in the Getting to Know my Home task, the robots should autonomously create a semantic map of the environment and in the end should be able to replicate a known initial state.

ERF Awards homer

Gerhard Kraetzschmar of the University of Applied Sciences in Bonn represented us during the Award Giving Ceremony in Bucharest (Romania).

We are now concentrating in the RoboCup@Home preparation for the German Open in Magdeburg.