ERL in Oldenburg is done

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Friday evening we came back from the European Robotics League Tournament in Oldenburg. It was a pretty cool but also exhausting week.

Our team from the ERL in Oldenburg together with a creepy dummy (next to Lisa), Dr. Max Pfingsthorn from OFFIS (second one on the right) and Dr. Meysam Basiri (ERL judge)(on the right)
Our team from the ERL in Oldenburg together with a creepy dummy (next to Lisa), Dr. Max Pfingsthorn from OFFIS (second one on the right) and Dr. Meysam Basiri (ERL judge)(on the right).

There were four benchmark tasks to be done: Getting to Know My Home, Welcoming Visitors, Catering for Granny Annie’s Comfort and Visit My Home. Over all, they went quite well and we are at least on the second place of each category. The official scoring can be found here. So we are very ambitious to reach the first places in two weeks in Lisbon — we will challenge the local SocRob team there.

TBM 2: Welcoming Visitors. Lisa accepts a parcel from *the postman* aka Chris
TBM 2: Welcoming Visitors. Lisa accepts a parcel from *the postman* aka Chris.

On wednesday morning, a reporter from a local journal interviewed us and a photographer took some photos of Lisa and the team. You can have a look at the article and the photos here.

The five days in Oldenburg went by very fast and having the chance to benchmark our robot in a real smart apartment was a pleasure! :)

Ever wondered how Lisa looks from the inside? Here is a picture we made while disassembling her for the transportation back home
Ever wondered how Lisa looks from the inside? Here is a picture we made while disassembling her for the transportation back home.

Entering the Arena

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Entering the arena: the livingroom
Entering the arena: the livingroom.

Today was the second preparation day for the ERL in Oldenburg and Lisa got a chance to explore the benchmark arena. It’s a fully furnished and functional smart home apartment. Because it’s used permanently for researching assisted living for elderly people, two very creepy dummies are “living” there.

The bedroom: creepy dummy nr°2 lives here
The bedroom: creepy dummy nr°2 lives here.

By exploring the rooms, Lisa creates a map of the apartment, so that she is able to navigate autonomously. Afterwards, we set POIs (points of interest), so that Lisa knows where to go for the different tasks.

Bathroom
Bathroom.
Hallway
Hallway.
Kitchen
Kitchen.
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Preparing for the ERL in Oldenburg

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The day before in Koblenz: Disassembling Lisa
The day before in Koblenz: Disassembling Lisa.

Team Homer participates this week at the European Robotics League in Oldenburg, taking place in the OFFIS lab. We arrived there this afternoon by train. For traveling with Deutsche Bahn, Lisa had to be disassembled.

Then — later on in Oldenburg — she raised again like a phoenix from the ashes…

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Lisa came back to life
Lisa came back to life.

Late at night in our apartment, we made a little label party to train the objects we took photos of earlier.

Working still at night
Working still at night.

We won the Object Perception Benchmark at the ERL

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After two nights without much sleep, we successfully finished the European Robotics League in Sankt Augustin. Special thanks go out to our coffee maker—which kept us awake—, to hamster—our honorary member—, and to the “Alumni der Computervisualistik der Universität Koblenz-Landau e.V”—which sponsored our travel.

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With one more object recognized than our friends of team RobOTTO (Magdeburg), we won the object perception benchmark. For this task, TIAGo had to know 32 different kinds of chocolate bars and 13 small robot components. Due to some issues regarding the training of our neural network, we were only able to compete half an hour before the whole competition ended. After a mediocre first attempt, we reached 15 and 16/20 points in the second and third run respectively, and won the challenge.

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The placing objects task also went pretty well. Though we managed to place 5/5 chocolate bars correctly into their boxes, there was a draw with the b-it-bots@Work from Sankt Augustin. In the end they won the challenge because their robot arm was much faster than ours.

Furthermore, we were the only team to make an attempt at the “serving goodies” challenge. This was a bit more difficult than similiar challenges in the past because we had to pick from a box full of chocolates and not just an object on its own. That’s probably why this attempt wasn’t very successful. However, we’re sure to be able to manage this in the near future.

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Typical German: extra caution because the robots could burn..
Typical German: extra caution because the robots could burn...

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