Over the summer the Falcons finished 3rd at the annual RoboCup World Championships in Sydney, Australia, a great achievement for a team that celebrates only its 5th anniversary this year.
The Falcons’ quick progress to the podium is unparalleled in the league: Never was a team able to progress to 3rd position in such a short time. To reach this result, the Falcons needed to beat a long time opponent from China, NuBot, who had been keeping them from the podium for the last 2 championships. In the match for third place, the Falcons finally beat NuBot with 6-1, another record achievement in the short history of the Falcons.
This progress is the result of a very passionate crew that works on both hardware and software. The carefully designed software architecture not only facilitates the software that makes the robot move, but also accommodates a large amount of diagnostic tools that allow the team to evaluate each game in combination with the video recordings. For example, while playing back video footage, the Robot Data Logging can be shown synchronously: this helps to reveal why certain decisions were made at a certain point in time. Using these diagnostics, the software can be improved very effectively and at a high pace - especially during tournaments.
Next to this smart design, the robots’ uptime was a key factor in the team’s success. It is crucial that all five robots are 100% available during the game so the team can always play at full strength. In comparison, competing teams lost valuable points while their robots were under repair. Besides the championships, the Falcons also made it to the third position for the technical challenge of the MSL, where the robots needed to demonstrate their skills in five different tasks. All in all, the ASML Falcons are looking back to a very successful tournament.
The ASML Falcons have their own facility in Veldhoven at De Locht where they meet a couple of evenings a week. Here they can practice with the robots on their own soccer field and design, improve and further develop their robots. About once a month they organize a practice match against the VDL-RobotSports team to check their progress and identify areas where they can still improve.