27 / 29 November, Falcons visited Aveiro in Portugal for a MSL RoboCup workshop. The event was hosted by Cambada, one of the Portugese MSL soccer teams. Together with Carpe Noctem (Germany), TechUnited (The Netherlands), Minho (Portugal) we spent 3 days on playing matches, exchanging knowledge and ideas, and working on a new referee user interface.
The first day, all RoboCup teams that joined the workshop gave presentations on their improvements and future projects towards the next championship which will be held in Leipzig Germany in July 2016. There were some very interesting presentations and we learned a lot by listening to ideas of other teams.
Two items which were specifically interesting:
- A new referee interface; The new referee interface (called reflex) will facilitate the referee during a match. This will be of great help as the referee currently needs to manually time the game, time how long a robot is taken out of the field for service and time how long a robot is set out of play due to a yellow card.
- Defining the ball position by triangulation of multiple robots; Triangulation of the ball makes it possible to locate the ball in 3D while using 2D camera's. The problem with 2D camera's is that the ball might be mapped to the wrong location on the field since the camera cannot really see depth. By using information of multiple robots and thus looking at the ball at multiple angles, the ball can be correctly located.
The second day all teams worked on one common task that benefits the RoboCup MSL league. Together we worked on a standard protocol to communicate the real time status of each team to the newly created referee interface. This will bring:
- Live visualisation for supporters. This gives supporters insight in what the robot is doing and why the robot is making certain decisions.
- Better diagnostics
- More statistics
- Benchmarking between teams
Now, after each match the logging is distributed amongst the teams so that it can be used for simulation, benchmarking and statistics.
At the end of the day all teams were able to implement the protocol and were able to connect to the new refbox;
a major accomplishment!
On the last day, future rules and the direction of the MSL league within the Robocup federation were discussed.
These were 3 great days with results beyond our expectation. All teams were extremely open, cooperative and were eager to share their solutions to common problems. It helped all teams to make big steps in getting better, more robust and controllable robots.
Many thanks to Cambada for making this possible!