Sydney we are coming

Next week we will attend the this years RoboCup World Championship in Sydney (Australia). Lisa and TIAGo will show of their skills in scenarios like ‘Take Out The Trash’, ‘Cleaning A Table’ or ‘Serving Drinks’ in an apartment and unknown restaurant.

Since Nagoya in 2017 our mascot the hamster is joining us on our trips. Here his godfather Chris is giving him a ride
Since Nagoya in 2017 our mascot the hamster is joining us on our trips. Here his godfather Chris is giving him a ride.

Our journey started last evening. Currently we are at Abu Dhabi Airport — the long flight to Sydney will start soon.

Lisa is used to travel in our suitcases. This time as well
Lisa is used to travel in our suitcases. This time as well.
Six suitcases with a mixture of cables, cloths, sensors and actuators are the cocktail that our luggage hosts
Six suitcases with a mixture of cables, cloths, sensors and actuators are the cocktail that our luggage hosts.
Patrik disassembling the arm of Lisa. TIAGo is already on tour to Sydney
Patrik disassembling the arm of Lisa. TIAGo is already on tour to Sydney.
Isabelle adding the logo of our new sponsor Neoalto. Also new this year: KEVAG Telekom. Thanks for your support
Isabelle adding the logo of our new sponsor Neoalto. Also new this year: KEVAG Telekom. Thanks for your support.

Stay tuned. We will update our news channels (instagram, facebook, blog) frequently in the upcoming week.

We are very thankful for our this years sponsors:

  • Research fond of the University of Koblenz-Landau
  • Dean of the computer science department
  • AStA / StuPa of the University of Koblenz
  • EINST e.V.
  • CV e.V.
  • Neoalto
  • KEVAG Telekom
  • Vice president of the University of Koblenz

Without all your support the attendance in Sydney wouldn’t have been possible at all! The robots and us will do our best! This year we have the possibillity to become the most successful team in the RoboCup@Home League… But the other teams from around the globe of course try to hinder that.

Ranga Yogeshwar visited our lab

Ranga Yogeshwar got a honored doctorate of the University of Koblenz. He was interested in what our robots can do and spontaneously visited our lab before the ceremony.

Ranga Yogeshwar interested in Lisa
Ranga Yogeshwar interested in Lisa.
Raphael showing some videos of our robots demonstrating their skills
Raphael showing some videos of our robots demonstrating their skills.

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.

Award.
Award..
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!