It’s official - Germany are the football world champions - in RoboCup at least, the world championship for robot football, which took place this July in Atlanta, USA.
A team from the University of Freiburg, Germany, competed against 28 other teams from 14 different countries to win the cup in classes for both small- and medium-sized humanoid robots.
The robots’ eyes comprised three uEye cameras from IDS to follow the motion of both the ball and the other ‘players’. The cameras were equipped with wide-angle lenses to provide good all-round vision
The recorded images were transmitted via USB to a 1.3GHz mini PC built into the robot's torso, where they were processed at a frame rate of 30fps. From the image analysis data and the signals of a tilt sensor, the computer decided the appropriate response behaviour and controlled 20 joints that allowed the robot to run and kick the ball. The matches were close calls, with the final going to penalty kickouts against Spain in the medium-size range. The game can be watched at www.nimbro.net.
The results are impressive, but we still have a long way to go until we reach the ultimate aim of the RoboCup founders: for a robot team to beat a human world champions by 2050.