ERL preparation day


Yesterday was the preparation day for the tournament. After a little opening ceremony, we could start testing our code. Today, the real competitions start.. So wish us luck!


Despite some pretty frustrating problems with the training of our neuronal network, it was a cool first day with lots of fun.


…and because we made so many cool pictures, the only logical consequence for us was to become instagramer. So just follow homer_unikoblenz.

The one and only homer pizza
The one and only homer pizza.

ERL in Sankt Augustin

We are going to participate on the European Robotics League in Sankt Augustin (near Bonn). Our first tournament for most of the team! Tomorrow morning we have to face the probably most difficult challenge: manage to bring TIAGo from the third floor to the ground floor, WITHOUT USING THE ELEVATOR (it just broke a few days ago..).

ERL 2018 Team
ERL 2018 Team.

TIAGo and our little friend - the hamster - are also very excited. :)

Storing and Disposal

The day started with a tremendous letdown of <censored>, who came a hour to late to our preparation place. This is a huge no-go in our team. But the dept was payed off in many delicious nuts and raisins. We mostly spend our first half of the day by watching the display and disposal task performance of other teams. At 2pm we started with our performance which went a bit messy because we needed to restart three times before TIAGo was able to do something meaningful. <censored> started to sweat while he was talking in front of a big crowd without having TIAGo doing something. <censored> tried his best to repair the endeffector which was not properly set by TIAGo and to fix the arena setup. Though, after the third restart, TIAGo was working as expected and worked the remaining seven minutes twice as hard to compensate for the difficult start. In the end we displayed nearly as much as hoped and demonstrated a flexible fully autonomous approach.

Here are the stocked items during a test:

Afterwards, we visited the exhibition part of the World Robot Summit and saw a whole lot of robots, including all kind of arms, a table tennis robot, a human lifelike robot and a cute Wall-e like robot. The best part was the Robot Sumo Fight Cup, in which robots had to push each other out of a designated arena area. The used robots were heavily armored and really fast. So, that was it for this day, now we are very tired and excited to go to the award ceremony tomorrow, to receive our third price for the future convenience store challenge. Finally, we can recover all the lost hours of sleep.

<censored> was trying to eat the lunch boxes during the testing session instead of supporting <censored> with testing.

In the actual test run we scored 12 points. Which is not that bad for our first try.

This post was proof read and changed by the homer redaction. Some passages where replaced in order to bring no harm to involved people.

Toilet Cleaning

Today was time to clean the toilet of the convenience store. Therefore a peeing-boy-statue was positioned in front of the toilet and let 300 ml water in the toilet and at the toilet rim as well as on the ground before.

Furthermore pieces of toilet paper were placed somewhere around the toilet and one empty toilet paper roll. The water outside the toilet bowl must be removed and the roll and papers collected and thrown to a trash bin or stored inside the robot.

To detect how much of the water has been removed the water was colored white and a black light was positioned above the toilet as well as a camera which made a photo while a curtain was moved around the toilet room. So a picture was taken before the water was peed as well as after and after cleaning.

While we used our autonomous robot TIAGo, we use for all tasks in this competition, it was also possible to install hardware in a specific area around the toilet and even to use your own toilet.

So we faced impressive constructions like a toilet which could move upwards that the floor was free to be cleaned by one big wiper. Or a toilet seat which falls down on the toilet bowl, makes loud noises and when moving back up the toilet rim is clean.

Our TIAGo on the other hand moved into the restroom with just a sponge in his hand. More precisely one sponge put on each gripper. So he could clean the water as well as collect the papers on the floor through taking it between the both sponges.

Everything was working fine but at the beginning the robot twisted his grippers while moving over the toilet rim and thus was hardly able to collect the tiny toilet papers which had a size of approximately 5 cm. So we took the change of restarting the task while the clock keeps moving. Thus we wouldn’t get the points for removing the water but might be able to collect more papers. Sadly TIAGo was not able to collect further papers, but could remove more water. Thus we cleaned 39% of the simulated urine.

In the pictures you can see quite well, that the toilet seat was cleaned very good but the ground was missed.

We didn’t made it to the winners podium, but are highly satisfied with TIAGos abilities.

Here are some shots from during the tests with our custom built toilet for testing:

And a result of our toilet seat estimation: