On November 30th, a group of around 35 Young ASML members had the opportunity to visit the ASML Falcons Robocup team in their facilities in Locht near the ASML Veldhoven campus.

The evening started off with drinks and pizzas and continued with a nice presentation about the Falcons Robocup team. The technology behind the robots were explained and how the robots with built-in cameras and sensors can navigate the field and be able to locate the soccer ball as well as their opponents. It was also pointed out that there are various leagues of autonomous soccer playing robots available to compete in. The Falcons team competes in the Mid-Size League (MSL) and consists of a number of enthusiastic ASML employees who meet up on average two evenings per week to improve and further develop the hardware as well as the software involved in the robots.

After the presentation, a demo match between ASML Falcons and Team VDL was organized. In which, you could see the robots playing in autonomous mode and demonstrating their soccer skills such as, kick-off, passing the ball around and scoring goals. At half time Falcons were 5-1 up against their super-fast opponents. The fun evening came to an end with a chance for the participants to ask further questions and get to know the Falcons team and learn a bit more in detail about the various disciplines involved in this sport.

The Falcons return home from RoboCup 2017, the annual world cup of robot football, as winners of the Technical Challenge and exceed expectations in the tournament.

The Falcons, ASML's robot football team, set off for RoboCup 2017 in Japan with the aim of raising their ranking to sixth place, from the eighth place achieved last year. They've proudly returned as winners of the Technical Challenge and beat their target, coming fifth in the tournament.

Read more: Falcons win RoboCup Technical Challenge

The Falcons showed significant steps towards maturity at the Portuguese Open 2017. This year’s European championship featured a total of seven teams in the Middle Size League robot soccer competition. With surpassing their rival Carpe Noctem and claiming the third podium spot for themselves, the Falcons can look back on a very successful tournament.

Since the last World Championships in July, the team has shown sustained effort to improve both the hardware and software for the six soccer robots. For instance, a new world model (which keeps track of known objects on the field) has been developed, featuring enhanced localization and tracking of the robots, ball and obstacles. As the robots also drive more precisely, they are now able to properly pass the ball to each other autonomously. This proved necessary indeed, as a recently introduced rule obliges the robots to do at least one pass before being allowed to score.

Read more: Success at the European Open 2017
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