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