RoboCup: Positive balance after the first remote tournament


Admittedly, at the robot soccer tournament on the weekend, the spectator could miss one or the other goal. Either his eyes were closed because of boredom at the crucial moment, or there were so many players jostling in front of the goal that the ball could no longer be seen and only the referee’s whistle signaled that a goal had been scored. All in all, the event was a promising experiment that could attract more attention to the RoboCup in the long term.

So Patrick Göttsch moves from the team HULKs in an interview with heise online, a positive assessment of the first-time event German Open Replacement Event (GORE 2021). It was about all of the teams Standard Platform League to give the RoboCup the opportunity to test their robots under tournament conditions in games against other teams. This is easier with this league than with others because all teams with the Nao robots use the same hardware.

Each team provided four of their robots and sent them to Bremen or Dortmund, where there was enough space at the universities there to set up complete playing fields. Robots were then selected at random for the games and fed with the software of the competing teams. The whole thing was on the RoboCup SPL Channel broadcast live on Youtube.

What could be seen there was mixed – as was to be expected when multiple world champions and complete newbies come together. So became B-Human lived up to his role as a favorite and showed nice passes, both with the ball at rest and out of play. Despite difficult lighting conditions with bright sunshine and shadows on the field, the players mostly found the ball very quickly, were safe while dribbling and also hit the opposing goal with long shots.

Other teams, on the other hand, did not even succeed in kicking the ball when it was still in the center of the field and the signal to kick off was given. The rules stipulate that the ball is released after ten seconds and can then be played by the other team. This is what happened in the game of R-two kickers against the Nao Devils.

The R-Zwei kickers began to move regularly ten seconds after the whistle when they had the impetus, but then didn’t necessarily run to the ball, but padded around aimlessly while a player of the Nao Devils determined the ball submitted twice, kicked – goal! After the Nao Devils had already taken a 4-0 lead in this way, the goalkeeper happened to be in the way during the next attack and had to be pushed aside, so the 5-0 took a little longer.

But then it got exciting. As if the players had noticed that they had to offer the spectators a little variety, a Nao Devils player dribbled towards the abandoned, completely unprotected goal the next time. He came closer, closer and closer, then turned to the side, moved towards the post … and at the last moment pushed the ball over the goal line in the far left corner.

In the second half, the R-Zwei players then showed more commitment. A defender ran away when an attacker came up to him, another straddled in, then straddled again to the other side, then again to the left and seemed to have a lot of fun with this dance while the Nao Devils sealed the 7-0. After that, the Nao Devils made it a little harder by always playing to the defenders of the R-Zwei-Kickers who were standing on the side and then had to dribble around them.

After the 9: 0 then the sensation: A R-two player takes the ball away from the attacker! He dribbles to the middle, then in a wide arc back to his own goal. The goalkeeper is in the way, there is a corner kick for the Nao Devils. The keeper initially parries their long shot, but is then overwhelmed in close combat. If the score is 10: 0, the game is canceled, one and a half minutes before the end.

Interview with Patrick Göttsch from the HULKs team

(Source: Hans-Arthur Marsiske / heise online)

Admittedly, a certain degree of benevolence and humor doesn’t hurt if you want to enjoy robot football as a spectator. But GORE 2021 has shown a way to hold games more often and thereby raise the level in the medium to long term. And it should not be concealed that the R-Zwei-Kickers in the game against the Nao Team HTWK then a spectacular kick was achieved – with the head! Evil tongues claim that the player fell and accidentally touched the ball. But we saw a diving header and are already looking forward to the R-Zwei-Kickers’ first fall back goal.