End of the IranOpen2017

Unfortunately, as we had not managed to score a goal in the second group stage, this was the end of this year’s Iran Open for us.

We were able to trace the problem of falling over while running to the fact that the gearboxes of some leg motors were worn out and that the parameters of the walking algorithm were not well adapted to the new robot. Despite the relatively difficult conditions due to the conversion of the software to ROS, the competition still was a successful start in the season and we are looking forward to the German Open at the beginning of May in Magdeburg.

The FUmanoids won the game for the third place against Robit. The final was played between MRL and the ZJU Dancers and was an exciting match. The spectators supported strongly the local team from Iran. Unfortunately there were problems with the the game controller, the software which tells the robots the current status of the game. After the half-time pause, the status was not set to “play” again, so some robots did not move. This error was not noticed for several minutes, so it was added a big overtime. As a result, MRL was able to shorten the 4-1 lead to a 4-2 lead. But against the runner-up world champion, this is probably not a shame, although the spectators were very disappointed.

Between the games, we used the time to do some networking with other teams,  helped quickly repair other teams’ robots and visited the exhibits of the aligning university. In the middle-size league, a robot team played a test game against a few volunteering boys from the audience.

At the closing event in the evening at 6 p.m. unfortunately we arrived 10 minutes late and were a bit surprised that it had already begun. Nevertheless, we took our honorary seats in the first rows. Unfortunately, none of us got a translation device, so that the speeches were somewhat monotonous. This year, there were separate ceremonies for the junior and major leagues, so the event lasted only an hour. Afterwards the banquet took place in the competition hall. We met different teams, took some selfies with them and exchanged email addresses.

In the evening we decided to visit the nearby Tajrish Square. At the front desk of the hotel we ordered two taxis. The about 20-minute trip costs about 3€ per taxi. There we strolled over the closing bazaar, which some of us already knew from the previous years and the adjoining mosque. The trip back to the hotel turned out to be more exciting: we negotiated with a taxi driver a plausible price and showed him a letter of our hotel, which explained the way there. The car did not seem to pass through the German TÜV test, but since the top speed due to the traffic situation in Tehran seems to be about 20 km/ h, we were not worried. One of the two taxi drivers seemed to know the way and the other wanted to follow him. Unfortunately they lost themselves in the traffic. After the taxi driver, of whom we had thought he knew the way, had asked other people at the roadside  several times, we actually reached the destination. And our friends in the other taxi arrived a few minutes later. We spent a nice remaining evening at the hotel with our interpreter Mahdi.

The next day was completely reserved for sightseeing. Since we should be in a larger group, we had to pick another team at the exhibition hall. Since we were no longer with buses of the university, we could not simply go over the exhibition grounds to the meeting place. The route outside was about 20km long and the journey lasted half an hour. Walking we would have been there in 15 minutes. We started our tour at the Golestan Palace complex, which is really very worth seeing. It is located close to the large bazaar of Tehran. There we split up into smaller groups, lunched a delicious Iranian burger and covered with spices, cloths and other souvenirs.

Afterwards we went on to the Nature Bridge, which connects two parks across a large road and houses even cafes and viewing platforms. The actually relatively short way to get there was extended by a traffic jam for a considerable time. Many of us used the opportunity to make a little sleep in the more or less comfortable bus to catch up. Arrived at one of the connected parks we made a pleasant walk and enjoyed the view from the bridge.

After dark we drove to the Milad Tower, the television tower, and enjoyed the spectacular view. A in theory successful finish of the tour, only the trip back to the hotel was problemfull. The bus driver unfortunately drove 20 minutes into the opposite direction of our hotel. He had to go back, of course. With some help from other car drivers we arrived finally.

The team ER-Force from Erlangen was already waiting for us, because we wanted to go to the airport together with another, bigger bus and their flight was a bit earlier than ours and were promised a bus even earlier. We had not eaten since noon and so we had to take the food from the hotel restaurant into the bus.

Arriving at the airport we had to wait some time until we could check in. Also when the information displays would let us believe we could get rid of our suitcases, the check-in desk was still unoccupied for a felt eternity. We also had to wait a long time for the departure check-out and the security check-up was still closed until shortly before boarding. Arriving three hours before departure, the Tehran Imam Khomeini Airport is not really too early.

Despite some delay of our first flight from Tehran to Vienna we got our connection flight to Hamburg. Also our luggage we received without problems in Hamburg. Tired but satisfied with the work done at the competition, we went to the Hamburg sun on a cold Sunday morning. Most of us needed a bit of sleep.


Second Group Stage

Today was another exciting day at the venue. At 2pm we had our first match of the day against Robit from South Korea. We put further effort in the ball detection to resolve the last problems with the porting of vision.
Right at the beginning of the match Minibot got a engine damage. The gear in the shoulder was broken and the patient had to be treated. But luckily we are always well equipped at the competitions. So we had spare motors to change the broken parts. Before the end of the match Minibot was ready again to at least defend the goal. In the mean time Hans, the WF Wolves’ robot, was defending the goal and was able to kick the ball into the right direction. But Hans fared no better. After falling down he broke his neck which had to be fixed with hot glue several times in this match. Robit had a big chance to score a goal, but they shot the ball that far, 10 cm in front of our goal to be precise, that they weren’t able to see the ball anymore. Due to the hardly fixed head hans wasn’t able anymore to locate the ball correctly. So he kicked into the air several times and did not hit the ball anymore.  But unfortunately it was not enough to score a goal so the match ended without goals.
In the second and last game for the day at 6 pm we played against the Fumanoids. In the afternoon we could make some little improvements so that we were able to walk a little into the direction of the ball, that we actually recognised. But after some steps Minibot fell over and due to a fault (probably in the accelerometer) he turned over and over on the field. He acted like a real soccer player! As a lesson from last game we had already prepared the hot glue for the game. But it got worse: Right before the start of the game Nils had noticed sparks flying out of the Wolves’ robot. A cable had become loose and caused a short circuit. A soldering iron was needed and after a short surgery Hans was able to play again. Only his head kept falling off when he fell down.
Towards the of the competition we wanted to take a team picture. We quickly found someone to take the photo of us. While we were still standing there, some participants and visitors of the IranOpen joined us to see our robot. Of course, we took also photos with them and soon we were surrounded by a group of people with Hans, Minibot and us in the middle.

Group Stage

Today was the start of the tournament. The Bold Hearts played the opening match against the ZJU Dancers at 9 am. Afterwards we competed against the FUmanoids in a match that ended in a 0:0 tie. Unfortunately Minibot experienced some issues with the ball detection algorithm. Later on we were able to resolve the problem, but as usual other issues emerged afterwards. Although the Wolves have quite a good ball detection our team was not able to score a goal. 

Until 12 pm we had time to fix minor issues and continued on adapting the Wolves’ ball detection for our robot. 

In our second match the ZJU Dancers beat us with a score of 0:1. We believe  their success to be mostly attributed to their localisation software.

After a pleasant lunch break we were able to get the Wolves’ vision software running on Minibot. Since we use a different camera we had to adjust some parameters, so we could finally detect the ball. Still Minibot did not move much during the match since there seems to be a problem with the command to start the walking towards the ball when one is detected. We will approach that issue tomorrow.

In the penalty shoot-out against the Bold Hearts in our last match, which started at 6 pm, Hans, the Wolves’ robot, managed to score a goal and Minibot did a good job as goalie.

We also visited the other three exhibition halls in which the junior league is located. One of them accommodates student projects from various schools. We were quite impressed by the complexity of these projects. The subject of most projects was related to electronics, programming and environmental concerns. 



Set-Up Days

Yesterday evening we finally managed to run our software on the robot. So today we could start testing. The bus shuttle to the hall was in time, because we had to attend the opening ceremony at 9:00. Speakers at the ceremony were the president of the Qazvin University, important professors and the deputy mayor of Tehran. They underlined the importance of the RoboCup competitions and the research in Iran. 

Today we recorded test data for Fabians master thesis on pressure sensors .  The artificial turf on the playing field is not very high, but it is made of different kinds of artificial turf which makes the robots stumble at the borders between two parts.

The field markings correspond to the rules of 2015 and the games will be played under the rules of 2016.  At this competition there was no referee meeting, because the technical committee will be refereeing most games . Also there was no robot inspection to officially measure and weight the robots. Instead each team simply had to measure their robots themselves and fill out a form.

Tomorrow at 7:30 German time we will play our first game against the FUmanoids from Berlin. Unfortunately we could not do a test game today so we are very excited on how we will present ourselves on the playing field. At the moment we are working on including the Wolves image processing into our software, as our own image processing code is too slow to be used in the game. This was enabled by Marcs master thesis, to move our software to the ROS framework in cooperation with other teams. Thus, standards were defined  that make code sharing very easy. We are looking forward to the debut tomorrow. 

At 9:30 German time we will compete in our second group match against the ZJU Dancers. Our third one will be at 15:30 against the Bold Hearts.


Arrivel in Teheran

After three years of participating in the the IranOpen, we thought that this year would be the same, but we were surprised to be accommodated in a different hotel. Of course you always meet new RoboCup teams. During the flight we met the LUHbots from Hanover who play in the @Work league.
Other than that things were quite similar to the previous years. We had to wait for a long time at the airport for our visa and our arrival at the hotel was delayed quite a bit.After a relatively short night we started our day with a tasty breakfast. The bus to the convention center, which was supposed to pick us up at 8:30, arrived at 10:00, but the couches in the hotel eased our waiting time and were appreciated by a team lacking quite some sleep.
When we finally arrived at the center construction of the convention was still in full swing. Since a lot of things were still moved in and out of the hall the doors stayed open and with approximately 5° outside Nils even put on some gloves.


The continuing rain really made us feel like we were right at home.

After some small repairs to Minibot it is now fully functional, at least from the perspective of the hardware. We now work intensely on the software side of things. Also the Gamecontroller, the software used by the referees, was tested today.
The Wolves were even able to test their robot on the playing field. Since the lines were colored with thick white paint, they were quite hard and it will be difficult for our robots not to trip over them. On the bright side of things the lighting conditions are really good.
Seven teams participate in our league. We will play in a group phase with the FUmanoids, Bold Hearts and ZJU Dancers in our group and Robit, MRL and the Unbounded Designers in the other. Wednesday morning at 9 games will begin.

We hope to continue working tonight (Monday) at the hotel, hopefully with a better internet connection than at the venue and look forward to the opening ceremony tomorrow.


Robot soccer in Harburg – RoHOW 2016

Friday evening this years Robotic Hamburg Open Workshop started. Over 100 participants from Germany, Netherlands, Luxemburg and France, including the three current world champions, came to the Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH) to share their newest developments in software and hardware with each other. 

Yesterday there were several workshops about a wide range of topics including robot self-localization, image processing with artificial intelligence or funding of robocup teams.

Today at 12pm the visitor day takes place. In addition to interesting talks several test matches are scheduled. The matches give a good overview of the problems we are facing until the next competition, the IranOpen in April 2017.

After two interesting days full of inspiration we hope do see you today.



Save the date: RoHOW 27.11.

This November for the third year in a row the Robotic Hamburg Open Workshop(RoHOW) will be held again. In cooperation with the RoboCup team from the Hamburg University of Technology, the HULKs, we organize the networking and communication event for students and researchers from all over the world in the field of humanoid robotics. The preparations are in full swing and the team invitations are dispatched. We are looking forward towards an interesting weekend and your visit on Sunday, the 27th of November. From 12pm on everyone can come by and visit the RoHOW. For more information please visit http://rohow.de/2016/en/.


Freshmen presentations and day of open doors

In the last weeks it was very quite at the campus. But now the new semester has started and as every winter term there are many freshmen students starting to study at the Informatikum. In the context of the orientation unit we presented our team as a student working group and are hoping the see some new faces in our lab.
The first ones already dropped by and we are planning to hold a “day of open doors” in our lab (F-015) on Thursday the 1st of November from 12am to 6pm. Here we can give interested people a more detailed insight into our work.


Match Schedule for today

Here just a short overview:

After we scored third in the penalty shootout we will play against the team that scored second from another group, against Robo-Erectus Junior at 9:30 am. (The game will be streamed on our YouTube channel.)

Here this morning’s match schedule:

TimeFieldTeam 1 Team 2
9:00 am1CIT BrainsvsPhoton
9:15 am2Hamburg Bit-BotsvsRobo-Erectus Junior
9:30 am3Team KUDOS vsFUmanoids
9:45 am4-vsNUbots
10:15 am1RoboFEI-HTvsFalconbots
10:30 am2TH-MOSvsZJUDancer

Following teams scored first in their respective groups and thus will definitively play this afternoon: Rhoban Football Club, RoboBiu, MRL-HSL, EROS, SEU-Jolly and the Bold Hearts


Current Status

Here just a short overview over the results of the matches:

Team 1 Team 2 Score 1 Score 2
CIT BrainsvsRhoban Football Club0:1
CITBrainsvsHamburg Bit-Bots0:0
PhotonvsRobo Erectus Junior0:2
Team Kudosvs-2:0
FUmanoidsvsBold Hearts0:0
Rhoban Football ClubvsHamburg Bit-Bots1:0
ErosvsRobo Erectus Junior0:0

The games which ended 0:0 will be decided via penalty shootout which will take place after all regular games have been played.