(Real Time Commented) RoboCup 2012 Kid Size: USA / Japan (Final)

Uploaded by BotSportTV on 08.09.2012

We’re here at the finals for the kid size category. It’s Carissa here with Steffen.
Steffen, can you introduce yourself?
My name is Steffen Heinrich, I’m from Berlin, Germany and I participated in the last four
years for the team Fumanoids in the Robocup kid size league.
OK, so we already had the kickoff and we have Team Darwin for the USA in pink and CIT Brains
for Japan in blue. And a goal! Right away, a goal for USA.
Was a really quick start.
So how many robots are playing right now in the kid size?
We are playing 3 and 3 games in the kid size league currently and you see right now it’s
the automatic positioning so the robots take their position on their own and since they
are playing autonomously, they decide everything on their own.
But they’re programmed by humans first of all, correct?
That’s correct so they’re programmed before and when they enter the pitch they are on
their own. They have to decide whether they want to go to the ball, or support their striker,
or for example now we see CIT Brains from Japan dribbling and avoiding the obstacles
from the US and so they are walking towards the left side to get a better kicking position.
Now what can you tell me about the size? - Because the Team Darwin for the USA - they are using
a smaller robot.
Well, they have some restriction on size and in shapes but you’re allowed to build a
robot between 30 and 60 centimeters...oh and that was a pretty good move by the Darwin
so he was getting up backwards pretty quick. So, yeah it’s easier to have a smaller robot
because it’s more stable and lighter, but on the other hand, you can make bigger steps
when you have a bigger robot and you have more powerful servos just for example.
I see. So here’s US heading towards the goal once again.
As you can see Darwin is dribbling and kicking, really quick. And we saw a goalie touching
over here. The referee is calling a goalie touching and the robot has to go out. And
an own goal, sadly.
So I see in the kid size, the goalies do really work hard in blocking the ball and protecting
their goal, correct?
Yeah, you’re supposed to have a really good goalie when you want to reach the finals,
like these two teams did. And both goalies are actually pretty good, so we will see two
different strategies so Japanese team will try to kick from distance and Darwin team
is always dribbling and kicking from short distance.
And we have a tumble. And USA stays on it’s feet.
That’s very important. You always have to stay on your feet and stay on the pitch. In
case of leaving the pitch, for example, you have to be taken out for 30 seconds. Really
good play by the Darwin.
He just missed it there.
It’s really a dangerous situation for the Japanese there.
Another goal. Goal number 3 for USA. I see the goalie for USA was doing a little dance
after that goal.
Did he? Yeah, that’s always nice when the teams find the time to do something special,
like greeting the people or waving when they score a goal. So what you see is cheering
by the people or by the teams so they are really supporting their robots even if there’s
no influence for them.
Had a random fall there from USA goalie.
They’re really getting up quickly. That’s really important to have a robot that gets
up quickly.
Yeah, they seem to bounce back quickly doing a kind of a somersault move a lot the time
By moving the ball a lot, you’re also distracting other robots because they have to search for
the ball again. That’s what Team Darwin is doing and the Japanese are really struggling
Another goal for Team Darwin for the USA.
Some of the robots are getting serviced.
Is this a timeout right now?
I didn’t hear a call, but it looks like a timeout.
So what do they do to the robots when they’re working on them over there and they take them
out of the game?
There might be several reasons. For one, there might be problems with their hardware, so
you have to fix it or a motor is overheated and on the other side you might just exchange
body parts when they’re broken. And for sure, in a really bad case, you have to do
something at the software core but you don’t want to do that because you don’t have the
time to test something, so what we see over here that CIT is cooling several motors right
And Team Darwin for the USA, they don’t seem to need any cooling but they seem to
be replacing some batteries and screwing parts in.
Yeah, if you have a robust system then it’s really, really good. So I think it’s one
of the keys to being successful and Darwin showed this in the final last year and also
this year that they are really robust, they don’t lose robots during the match, they’re
always on the pitch and try to move towards the ball. That’s really important and really
good. So now what we can see is that the robots are placed outside and so when they do automatic
positioning they have to be at the side and walk in and their position themselves.
Very smart.
On the other side, the Japanese are doing manual positioning and therefore they have
to stay in the box.
OK, getting ready to start again.
The first phase is called “Ready” and in Ready the robots are allowed to get up
and move onto the field. There’s no ball on the pitch, so they’re not distracted
by the red color. They go to their position and wait for the ball and the play signal.
The referee nearly damaged one of the Japanese robots, so..
Close call there.
It’s always good to get the ball behind the other player, that’s what Darwin is
trying to do and he’s doing it pretty awesome so good play.
And they both fall down and Team USA is up first.
Little bit of a show for the fans.
Yeah, those robots are really cute and I think they’re really crowd pleasers, especially
the way they get up after a fall.
Maybe the Japanese could now get into a kicking position then we could see goalie motion from
Team Darwin. But the robot decides to dribble... Was a bit lucky over there, but still in goal
position..and Darwin is on its way.
And there goes the kick.
The robots are always detecting the object by the color and that’s why there’s this
“no flash” warning here in Mexico so it’s really important that people are not using
flash with their cameras.
Because it throws off the colour for the robot and they can’t detect the ball.
Yeah the color changes. It’s lighter in that moment and maybe the orange might look
a bit yellow and then you’re not detecting a ball by the goal and you don’t want to
do that so it’s really important that the colors don’t change. That’s also the reason
why we don’t have daylight in here so everything is covered.
Another goal for USA! Wow!
Victory pose.
Well, that Team Darwin for USA is really showing off.
I guess now they feel pretty safe that they can win it.
Team CIT had a very tough semifinal and they were lucky to get into the finals but Darwin,
I guess played 9-0 this morning so...
Pretty amazing performance. And now they can’t decide who’s going to play the ball and
now maybe the CIT is in kicking position again, but it takes too long to really decide what
it’s going to do.
But in that moment, the robots are trying to decide who has the better advantage to
take the ball?
Exactly. I think that’s one case maybe CIT is doing better, they are spread across the
field - they have a defender, goalkeeper. Darwin is running into each other as we can
see now so the communication is maybe better on the Japanese side but in the end it’s
just the goal and the score that counts. Darwin is solving this problem really good over here,
going between the two CIT robots. It’s really hard for a robot to position when the ball
is moving as we can see.
They’re getting close.
Goalie touching. This one will be taken out but it looks like a second own goal. That’s
really hard because now the robots are faced outside the field so they don’t see very
much and they’re not sure what they’re actually looking at. They can’t see any
goal or pole on the side, no field lines so it’s really hard for them to detect, “Well,
I’m actually looking into my own goal.”
Well, they seem to manage to get away from the goal line.
Two robots were tangled. There’s a rule for that so you have to detangle them. It’s
their first kick so here we can see CIT is able to kick really, really hard and for a
long distance. But now they have no striker to take advantage of it.
But that kick really did cross the whole field.
There’s also no throw in. The robots are not able to throw the ball into the field,
at least not in a match. We do that in a technical challenge. So when the ball leaves the field,
it’s placed somewhere on the pitch.
When the ball goes out of bounds.
Yes, otherwise it would take too long. The robots are able to pick it up and throw it
back in but it would take too long to walk there, find the ball, pick it up and maybe
it won’t work so it’s stated in the rules that the referee is replacing the ball.
So now we’re in the halftime and the players are going to take advantage of this time to
continue to do maintenance on their robots - cool the robots, replace batteries, fix
And now it’s interesting to see whether CIT Brains will change their strategy. Right
now, they have just one attacker and if they really want to score, they have to do more
than just dribbling and kicking with one player. But I have to say, it’s really hard to turn
that one around right now.
And the score is...do we know the score?
They put the monitor away but something like 5-0.
Well, Team Darwin for USA is definitely way ahead.
Yeah, way ahead.
We’ll have to see how they can catch up. So how many Robocups is this for you?
For me it’s the fourth time. I took part in 2009 for the first time and I was lucky
to reach the final as well so I played this kind of game four years ago and as well three
years ago but I was always unlucky, we played against the Darmstadt Dribblers, they’re
a really good team from Germany, but they beat us twice. So yeah, I always reached the
final like CIT right now but I was never able to win it.
And is there something standout about this year 2012, the robots what they’re doing,
the evolution of their technology and the advances?
Well, I think the kind of robot Team Darwin has is freely available, you can buy it, and
this kind of robot improved this competition because many teams who bought this kind of
robot used the code which was available on the internet and so they had a stable walking
system and for sure when you can get the source code from the current world champion, that
always pushes other teams. And that was actually pretty good. On the other side, what we can
see is that both teams don’t have many pickup requests. That means the robots are always
on the pitch. We see always a 3 on 3 match and that’s really important to be successful
this year. Last year, you might have gotten into the final with just 2 players on the
pitch. This year, as soon as you lose one player, you’re really struggling to win.
So this robot - how much does it cost to buy this robot?
I’m not quite sure, we’re not using it but I would say something like 9000 dollars
but I’m quite sure, I’m not in that region.
OK, because I want one. I would like to have one as a pet.
Well, yeah I think when you buy him and give him a red ball you have a default behavior,
it will always follow a red thing, whatever it is. It might be a ball or a red card or
whatever so it’s able to walk and follow red objects. So it will be interesting to
see whether more teams choose the Darwin because it seems to be successful. On the other side,
the humanoid kid size league is the only league where you build robots on your own so one
challenge is to build the electronics and the mechanical things on your own. And we
have the standard platform league on the other side where everyone is playing with the other
robot, Nao, so I don’t know where this is going but it would be nice to see that some
self-made construction is able to beat industrial products.
And in the world of the Robocup, does it seem better if you build your own robot as opposed
to buying the Darwin?
I wouldn’t say that because the focus is on different things. On one side for sure,
for people who love to buy robots is well seen when you build your own but for self
engineers, computer scientists, it’s just about the code, localization, vision problems
and it doesn’t matter on which kind of agent you’re developing it on so in the end it
has to be comparable, but say, the software is more comparable in the SPL league where
everyone is having the same hardware and you’re really just comparing concepts and the implementations.
And here, yeah we have to see - you have this part where you have to build something on
your own and maybe it’s also allowed to buy the Darwin and do some modification so
maybe next year we see a Darwin team with longer legs or more powerful motors or whatever
so that would be possible. On the other hand, that would be forbidden in the SPL league.
Looks like we’re getting ready to start the second half of the kid size final game.
CIT doesn’t seem to be ready yet so maybe there’s another timeout. So you’re always
allowed to take one timeout per halftime. On the first day the lighting was a bit of
a problem for all of the teams so we have a really dark carpet in Mexico and it’s
not that light compared to other locations we had in the last years. So everyone was
struggling with the camera settings and the calibration for the vision system but it seemed
to be working out for everyone quite fine.
Just have to adapt.
It’s just defined that the carpet has to be green. The goals have to be yellow or blue
and the side poles are always mixed blue and yellow. And field lines for sure are white.
The robots are, at least at the feet, black and wearing blue or magenta colors.
Robots in position.
The Japanese
robot tries to localize itself it was first a bit distracted, looking to the side. And
localization is done by looking at objects you know like goalposts or the poles at the
side, maybe field lines and from that you decide where you are on the global map of
the field. Because you have to know where you are to tell, for example, your teammate,
“I’m right here in the middle, give me a kick or a pass.”
At the same time they have to be looking at the ball as well.
Exactly. So it’s always a mixture - on one side you have to look for landmarks and on
the other side you have to look out for the only dynamic object on the field that you
want to interact with. For sure you also need to know where the obstacles are but you don’t
want to really interact with them.
Japan is really close to the goal line.
So now the US team is under pressure but they seem to solve it. Right now they have two
defenders in the box. That’s forbidden. That’s called illegal defense and after
a certain time one is taken out. That’s what’s happening right now. So this robot
who is now penalized is sitting at the side and has to wait for 30 seconds until he can
get in again.
Seems like the robots for Team Darwin USA are really a lot faster. They’re a lot quicker
at getting to the ball, where Japan is taking a lot of time, as you said, to localize itself
and find the ball and decide what it needs to do. Team USA runs in right away and gets
it done.
Yeah they have a really stable and quick walk.
And another goal for USA.
I think it was illegal. Yeah, there was a pickup call before that and so it wasn’t
allowed to touch the ball. The CIT is also stable. They’re really robust in their walking
but kind of slow when turning around the ball. They always want to find the perfect kicking
position...ah and now Darwin was directly at the ball and kicking it. And posing.
There’s his pose. And where’s he going now?
That shouldn’t happen. So maybe CIT is using that for a straight kick, yeah!
Goal for Japan.
So in this case the US Team didn’t use automatic positioning so they were all placed in the
box and the Japanese team had the time to dribble the ball a few centimeters and then
kick it directly. So I guess in the normal conditions, where the Darwin would stand right
in front of the circle, it would have been able to block the shot.
Looks like Japan is taking control of the ball..and a fall.
So now the advantage is back on the side of Team Darwin. But he found something more interesting
at the side so he’s walking there to have a look. Just checking if there’s something
and going back. That was the goalie touching again. So whenever you touch the goalkeeper
or just block it while it tries to get then it’s taken out. The goalkeeper found his
position but forgot to look behind him so he can’t see the ball right now. We are
waiting for the call for the goalie touching again.
Here we have Team USA coming towards the ball, towards the goal.
Looks good for them.
And a goal.
Nicely done.
And the US has called a timeout.
They had a timeout left and in case they just would have called a pickup request and give
the robot back to the engineers, they would have to wait one minute until it can get back
in. As soon as you do service on the robot, there’s a longer penalty for that. So if
you just pick it out because it’s struggling to get up and you want to place it back in,
that’s 30 seconds, but in case you change something you get the service penalty.
And that’s one minute?
One minute.
So Team CIT is trying really hard to cool their servers down with all they’ve got.
And what would be the result of an overheating problem? Would the robot shut down or move
slower or...?
Different things could happen. Motions might be as stable as they usually are, motors don’t
reach their positions...so having stable motions is quite hard to achieve and as soon as the
motor isn’t working as you expected it to do, you see all kinds of different problems
like stability.
And so do you think that soon they will be making robots with internal cooling systems
so they won’t have to stop and do this manually with the fan as the player from...
The main problem with the kid size robots is that they are really, really small and
you have your degrees of freedom so you always want to get up from certain poses and stuff
like that so if you put more stuff in there, you get less degrees of freedom because you
have to put the stuff somewhere. And you need some free space to move around the server
motor so I guess it’s not plausible to place that many devices in a small robot. And for
sure the weight is also a problem so as soon as you add another half a kilo or kilo, you’re
struggling with walking and kicking. One of the Japanese robots is trying to do automatic
positioning but it didn’t enter from the side, so it’s interesting to see what the
referee would call this as a penalty. Shouldn’t be okay but referee didn’t see it, so it’s
fine. So in robot soccer, the players are not complaining about referee decisions so
it’s different than human soccer.
That’s good that there aren’t any arguments there.
And they don’t pretend that there was a foul, you know, they’re not pretending.
We can see how fast the Darwin is and now it was hit by the CIT robot. Right now the
Japanese are blocking the ball, the Darwin couldn’t see it. But as soon as he had a
good point of view then he’s running towards the ball. It may be another good kicking position
for the CITs.
Lining up...and a goal! The usually fast Team USA could not respond quick enough to that
It seems that they might have no goalie motion or at least they didn’t detect the shot.
So by moving the head you can miss the ball. There’s just one second you can see it and
you’re looking to the right side and it’s just coming towards you, you won’t see it.
The camera should have an aperture angle of 50 degrees or something, so it’s hard to
see the objects you’re interested in. You really have to search for them.
The Japanese robot blocking USA.
It’s a bit stronger but the Darwin is back up and will just walk around. As soon as he
found the ball... Yeah, if he could see the ball he would be
running towards it.
He likes something right in front of us here. As soon as there’s another object that has
the same color as the ball then they are distracted and walk towards different objects. They only
see it by the color of the ball. Good block by the Darwins. They’re really quick behind
the ball so CIT has no chance to get in a good kicking position. Dangerous situation
for the Japanese Team now. Let’s see if they can solve it. It may be the last chance
for CIT to score a goal in this match. That was unlucky. The
referee calls ball holding so the robot has to be removed and the ball is placed back
on the pitch. And that’s it.
USA wins the Kid Size Final!