RoboCup 2008 Suzhou

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We've just arrived in Suzhou, China to participate the RoboCup 2008 which is being held at the Suzhou Expo Center (event link, GoogleMaps) in Suzhou Industrial Park in Suzhou, China, obviously.
Since we arrived not until today, there's not much to tell yet. But since we have Internet access in our accomodation (the Student Dormitory), we'll try to keep you posted on what's happening and how we are doing as fast as we can.


As already said, we only arrived today, got our rooms (after a 2.5 hour trip from Shanghai to Suzhou), and went to the expo-center to get our ID-cards prepared (which won't be ready until tomorrow). Tomorrow we need to get our root out of customs, let's just hope that works out well.

We were welcomed with mixed western-chinese food. Probably to max the compatibility for the very first day and give a smooth transition. There are dozens of Chinese students providing service trying to answer every question and they are very obliging to solve any problem there possibly could be. Let's see if it goes similarly smooth to get the robot out of the import inspection.


After some mixed western/asian breakfast, we quickly took the Shuttle to the competition site eager to see whether we could retrieve our robot. And yes: we could! Unfortunately, the transport didn't go as smooth as was to be hoped for after the first look: our main computing machine on the robot went dead. The fan starts to turn, but the machine just won't boot up. Damn!
We initiated a rescue mission by calling up home and ask to bring us a replacement part which will not arrive before tomorrow evening, though. Until then, we gotta figure out a way to work around the problem by using an additional laptop mounted to the robot. We desperately hope that will do at least for the first test on tuesday.
A priliminary schedule for the competition has been agreed upon:

Tue. 15.07.   15:00h - Introduce
Wed. 16.07.   12:00 - FastFollow   14:30 - Lost&Found
Thu. 17.07.   10:00 - Fetch&Carry   14:30 - WhoIsWho
Fri. 18.07.   10:00 - Open Challenge   14:00 - StageII-A
Sat. 19.07.   10:00 - StageII-B   14:00 - StageII-C   17:00 - StageII-D
Sun. 20.07.   Finals


Today we had the introduce test which went out pretty ok, despite our massive hardware incapacity. We moved down the application to one of the machine in the base of the robot and had an additional laptop mounted on top of the robot to control our new touch display which is being used to show a virtual character that is able to express some emotions.

Then, in the afternoon, Prof. Lakemeyer arrived and - thank god - had the spare motherboard with him, so we disassembled the robot once again and put in the replacement: now we are back to our old configuration for the next tests. Let's hope we do not have to solve another heavy disturbance like that any time soon!


We've been doing the "FastFollow" test today, being back in old shape (as for the hardware-setup

This evening, Daniel gave his talk accompanying the paper on "Landmark-based Representations for Navigating Holonomic Soccer Robots" at the Symposium
Here's the current standing as of this evening.
Stage 1 - Current Score
  Intro Fast
WhoIsWho Open
AllemaniACs 730 1000 0 - - - 1730
b-it-bots 646 1000 - - - - 1646
eR@sers 748 600 200 - - - 1548
JiaoLong-Home 340 1000 0 - - - 1340
Strive 173 1000 0 - - - 1173
Robocit 470 700 0 - - - 1170
Sourena 439 700 0 - - - 1139
MRL@Home 5 1000 100 - - - 1105
RH3-Y 53 1000 0 - - - 1053
homer@UniKoblenz 609 300 0 - - - 909
UChile Homebreakers 485 400 0 - - - 885
TKU @home 152 400 0 - - - 552
Pumas-Mexico - 0 0 - - - 0
Microsense 0 0 0 - - - 0


Today, we did the WhoIsWho test which worked quite ok apart from the fact that our speech synthesis went dead due to a microphone jamming our wireless. That's why the robot couldn't announce that it has found people and couldn't introduce with those people neither. Anyway, we know that the code is basically working and we know what needs to be done to fix the issues that came up.


Stage 1 - Final score
4UChile Homebreakers4854000065011542688
9MRL @Home51000100009252030
13TKU @home1524000004861038

In the evening, Stefan gave the talk accompanying our paper "A Robust Speech Recognition System for Service-Robotics Applications" at the Symposium today. By the way, the paper received the Best Student Paper Award.


Today the two slots of StageII-tests and the Demo-Challenge were on schedule.

We redid the Walk'n'Talk in the morning (as can be seen above), which didn't work that well yesterday evening, and we tried the Partybot in the second slot. We haven't prepared the Demo-Challenge, we're gonna work on our Final-presentation instead.

Stage 2 - Final Score
PartyBot Walk&
1 homer@UniKoblenz 350 1900 2250
2 AllemaniACs 200 2000 2200
3 eR@sers 550 650 1200
4 b-it-bots 200 800 50 1050
5 Sourena 500 500 50 1050
6 Robocit 500 250 750
7 UChile Homebreakers 150 100 400 650
8 JiaoLong-home 550 550
9 MRL @Home 500 500
10 Strive 100 100
Total score
Stage 1 Stage 2 Total
1 AllemaniACs 2873 2200 5073
2 b-it-bots 3910 1050 4960
3 eR@sers 3394 1200 4594
4 homer@UniKoblenz 2309 2250 4559
5 Sourena 2503 1050 3553
6 UChile Homebreakers 2688 650 3338
7 Robocit 2509 750 3259
8 JiaoLong-home 2294 550 2844
9 MRL @Home 2030 500 2530
10 Strive 1705 100 1805

So this leaves us in a good position for the final, our competitors being b-it-bots, eR@sers, homer@UniKoblenz, and Sourena. Let's see what happens tomorrow.


Today was the final where we showed a well integrated perfomance incorporating human dection, safe and robust navigation and collision avoidance, face recognition and manipulation in our demonstration. It went all pretty smooth (although there were some minor issues). All in all we scored second, so we are Vice-Worldchampion 2008 in RoboCup@Home!

Team Country Score
1 eR@sers Japan 170
2 AllemaniACs Germany 160
2 b-it-bots Germany 160
4 homer@UniKoblenz Germany 157
5 Sourena Iran 126

Take a look at the final result on page


We took a little trip to Shanghai, you don't get to China that often, so we took the chance and tried some sightseeing.


Our flight back home is today at 11 a.m. We're a bit sad to leave China already, but overall, this was a great experience and we're looking forward to being in China again.