It has been six months since RoboCup 2018 has finished. After a well-deserved holiday, the Falcons started working on many improvements both in the hardware and in the software domain. Time to show off the progress that we made so far!

MSL Workshop

Three team members have attended the middle-size league (MSL) workshop in Aveiro, Portugal, where they improved the MSL refbox, extended Cambada's real-time database (RTDB) and improved the MSL rules.

Hardware improvements

The hardware team is making great steps in designing a new keeper-frame with moving extensions as well as in redesigning the baseframe. The new baseframe is not intended to replace the baseframe of existing robots. Instead, the hardware team has chosen to use it to create one or more new robots from spare parts. If all goes well, the Falcons will attend the Robotica tournament in Portugal with an improved keeper and lighter field players.

Software improvements

The software team is showing good progress in several areas. First of all a feasibility study for improved motion firmware is finished. Parallel to that, improvements have been made in shooting accuracy, in self-localization and in tracking of obstacles and opponents. Responsiveness is being improved by integrating RTDB into the Falcons software. Last but not least structural improvements have been made to the diagnostics (tracing) software and to the simulator.

RoboCup 2018 is over and it has been a thrilling tournament for the Falcons team.

The Falcons became fifth out of five, let that be no secret. But let us focus on the highlights this tournament:

  • We have proven the feasibility of the multicam concept. We have been praised to bring such a novelty to the tournament.
  • We have demonstrated the ability to integrate multicam hardware and software (including calibration software) in just a few months. A record time.
  • We trained on a field with 2017 dimensions (18 x 12 meters). The tournament was on a field with 2018 dimensions (22 x 14 meters). The transition was seamless.
  • We improved ball handling and dynamic gameplay.
  • We achieved the second place in the technical challenge.
  • We achieved the third place in the scientific/engineering challenge.

Being a relatively young team, we are proud to have achieved the above results.

The first match day is a fact. After a slow start, the Falcons performed reasonably well. The new multicam was still in a conceptual stage during the two games in the morning. As a result, localization, ball tracking and obstacle tracking was of low quality during the first two matches. Throughout the days the quality of localization, ball tracking and obstacle tracking improved a great deal, making the last two matches exciting.

Despite scoring no goals, the Falcons are looking back at a very successful day of multicam and robot integration.

Also, the results of the scientific challenge are in. The presentation of the Falcons was awarded the most points. However the scientific challenge is more than presentation alone. The Falcons won the third place in the scientific challenge.

The Falcons have played twelve matches in three days. We even scored a few goals. Unfortunately this was not enough to reach the semi-finals.

Overall the Falcons have been happy to play with the absolute top of the MSL. The performance of our robots and our team has increased a lot during the tournament. However, there is still a long road ahead of us to meet the speed and ball handling of the top teams.

After a smooth flight from Schiphol, the Falcons and their robots arrived in Montréal, Canada, ready to play some soccer at the RoboCup 2018!

The highlights this year are:

  • Multicam
  • Improved ballhandling
  • Improved ball and obstacle tracking
  • Improved tactics
  • Weight reduction
Read more: Falcons arrived in Montréal
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