RoboCup 2008 Suzhou
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.
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.
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 1||Stage 2||Total|
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!
Take a look at the final result on robocup-cn.org 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.