Stage I: Lisa's busy day and results

Starting with “Speech & Person Recognition”, the robots had to analyze a crowd of people first. Afterwards, questions regarding the crowd’s members, the environment and general knowledge had to be understood and answered. Therefore the location of the sound source – the person, who had asked the question – was analyzed, so that the person can be faced when answering. Lisa did very well, understood and answered most of the questions and held eye contact as best as she could (sound source localization is a really hard topic!).

Having “some” (I mean: a lot of) trouble with Lisa’s arm controller and the internal planning scene, the subsequent task “Storing Groceries” was really challenging. It is mainly focused on object recognition and manipulation, and Lisa reported the objects already stored in the target cupboard. The pickup location, a small black table, was really unfortunate for Lisa’s object detection, because the plane underneath (and so, the objects too) could not be detected. Hence, Lisa was not able to grab an object safely. Up to the last minutes we tried different approaches, but the remaining time was too short. With the help of the correctly reported objects, we scored at least at least a small amount of points – better than not being able to solve anything at all.

The next task “Help-me-carry” was kind of a compensation for Lisa’s vain effort in “Storing Groceries”. She successfully followed the operator to a pickup location “a car”, located at the outside of the arena. Having taken the operator’s bag, she found her way back into the kitchen and placed it there. She started guiding another person to the car, in order to help her, but then, time was up. Except for a navigation failure, when a small object blocked Lisa’s path and she reached a good score.

Today’s last task “General Purpose Service Robot” was also quite a success. Speech recognition and command parsing had a nearly perfect success rate. Grasping objects had failed at the beginning because some “quick hacks” didn’t work unexpectedly - afterwards, other quick hacks fixed those. Several different commands were processed and especially following and guiding worked well.

Looking back at this exhaustive first day of competition, today’s labor was worth it.

Asked about the next days, our team leader wisely responded: “We looking ahead at the upcoming Stage 2 tasks, but we keep today’s challenges in mind.” Let’s see what tomorrow brings!