By Tim Niemueller | August 1, 2017
The team Carologistics (RWTH Aachen and FH Aachen) was able to defend their title as world champion of the RoboCup Logistics League against team GRIPS from Graz with 58 to 28 points in a very exciting final on July 30.
In the RoboCup Logistics League, two teams compete with up to three autonomous mobile robots in an intralogistics scenario against each other. The playing field is a smart factory from the context of the Industry 4.0, where intelligent machines manufacture complex products in varying production environments.The scenario is particularly characterized by the comprehensive communication and cooperation of the mobile robot. In the first phase of the game, the robot team explores the previously unknown playing field, creating a common “world view”. In the second phase, the electronic referee (RefBox) announces complex products that must be produced cooperatively. In this phase, the robots have to re-plan frequently, as the opponent plays on the same field and therefore the accessibility of paths or machines is always subject to variations, because machines spontaneously switch to a maintenance condition and can not be used at this time, and because individual steps such as grasping a product may fail occasionally.
In this year’s finals, the production phase started with an exciting head-to-head race of the two opponents. The first finished product of team Carologistics was lost in a slight, rule-compliant collision with a GRIPS robot. The team from Graz was able to keep up by preparing additional production steps. Only with the second produced and first successfully delivered product, Carologistics gained an advantage that ultimately lead to Carologistic’s triumph. A third product was also produced, but was delivered two seconds after the end of the game and thus no longer counted.
The Carologistics, which won the world championship for the fourth consecutive time, consists of scientists and students of the Cybernetics Lab IMA/ZLW & IfU (RWTH Aachen, Mechanical Engineering, Prof. Sabina Jeschke), the Knowledge-Based Systems Group (RWTH Aachen, Computer Science, Prof. Gerhard Lakemeyer), and the MASCOR Institute (FH Aachen, Electrical Engineering and information technology, Prof. Alexander Ferrein). This year was a very special RoboCup. Exactly 20 years after the very first RoboCup in Nagoya, Japan, RoboCup returned to its birthplace.The Carologistics could not only inspire tech-savvy people with their robots, but to the delight of the spectators, they also moderated their games in Japanese. In addition to the world title, the Carologistics won the Technical Challenge, where different types of machines had to be identified only by image processing and without the normally used AR tags, and where the teams had to play a game in a cloud-based simulation.