Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Can England still bring home 'the World Cup' from Brazil? Robotics experts hope so

Date:
July 11, 2014
Source:
University of Hertfordshire
Summary:
Football success in Brazil may not be over yet for England. Although England’s national team failed to make the knockout stages of the FIFA World Cup, the University of Hertfordshire’s robot football team, the ‘Bold Hearts’, is set to fly out to Brazil next week to compete in the 2014 RoboCup robotics world championship – taking place in João Pessoa, Brazil, 19 – 24 July 2014.

The University of Hertfordshire ‘Bold Hearts’ Robots with RoboCup trophies from the 2013 and 2014 German Open competitions.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Hertfordshire

Football success in Brazil may not be over yet for England. Although England's national team failed to make the knockout stages of the FIFA World Cup, the University of Hertfordshire's robot football team, the 'Bold Hearts', is set to fly out to Brazil next week to compete in the 2014 RoboCup robotics world championship -- taking place in João Pessoa, Brazil, 19 -- 24 July 2014.

Robot teams from around the world, including the USA, Japan, China, Germany as well as the UK, take part in the RoboCup competition which hosts a series of tournaments in various robotic disciplines, the most prominent of them being football. The concept behind these competitions is to provide a uniform and comparable test-bed for progress in robotic research. Teams use state-of-the-art artificial intelligence with the aim that by 2050 a team of robots will be able to take and beat the best human players -- to be the world champions!

Dr Daniel Polani, Researcher and Reader in Artificial Life and Team Leader of Bold Hearts at the University of Hertfordshire, said: "We've been taking part in the RoboCup competition since 2003. And this year we have been making significant advances with our robots. To succeed at RoboCup competitions, it is not sufficient for robots to operate well in laboratories they have to prove themselves in a novel environment and in adversarial circumstances against opponent teams. We have built on our success in the simulation league, where artificial intelligence software controls virtual reality robots, aiming to become one of the best humanoid robot football teams now that we are in the humanoid hardware league."

In the RoboCup humanoid competition, the robots are fully autonomous -- humans are not allowed to control the robots remotely during a game. Only at the beginning of the game, the robots receive a "start" command and begin playing. They can communicate with each other, but are not allowed to use external computers or commands. Every decision must be computed on board by the robot itself. This is the extremely difficult challenge that the RoboCup community has set itself as a target.

Dr Polani continued: "In 2013, Bold Hearts made the transition from a pure simulation team to a team of hardware humanoid robots. Despite the transition, we made a great start in the competition series. This year, we have focused on expanding our abilities -- and we're really proud and excited that our team took 2nd place at the RoboCup German Open (April 2014) and 3rd place at the RoboCup Iran Open (April 2014), ahead of some very well-established and strong teams. So that's set us up really well for the RoboCup World Championship in Brazil at the end of July."

Just like the national teams taking part in the FIFA World Cup, the humanoid robot teams need to be able to score goals and communicate with each other. The Bold Hearts team has been very successful in scoring goals -- a good attribute to have, you may think. But what if they are own goals? For example, in the first game at the German Open 2014, Bold Hearts won 4:2, but Bold Hearts scored all six of the goals! So Bold Hearts' goal scoring ability was clearly indisputable! However, this result showed a clear need to put a 'direction-detecting' module urgently into action.

Dr Polani added: "Implementing the 'direction-detecting' module definitely had the desired result -- with no further own goals. But the Bold hearts robots became what could be described as more 'cautious' and 'hesitating'. "

"While this would be sufficient for a good placing at the Open competitions in Germany and Iran, such hesitation would not be good enough at the World Championship in Brazil. So we have had to put our efforts into making the Bold Hearts team more forceful and decisive, improve situational awareness, and we incorporated past experience from the simulation competitions to achieve better team play -- so robots on the team would pay more attention to each other."

The RoboCup competition highlights the challenges and promises of the future of robotics.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Hertfordshire. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Hertfordshire. "Can England still bring home 'the World Cup' from Brazil? Robotics experts hope so." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 July 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140711091957.htm>.
University of Hertfordshire. (2014, July 11). Can England still bring home 'the World Cup' from Brazil? Robotics experts hope so. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140711091957.htm
University of Hertfordshire. "Can England still bring home 'the World Cup' from Brazil? Robotics experts hope so." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140711091957.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Computers & Math News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Will Living Glue Be A Thing?

Will Living Glue Be A Thing?

Newsy (Sep. 23, 2014) — Using proteins derived from mussels, engineers at MIT have made a supersticky underwater adhesive. They're now looking to make "living glue." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Apple Will Need To Squish These Bugs In iOS 8

Apple Will Need To Squish These Bugs In iOS 8

Newsy (Sep. 23, 2014) — As users rush to download the latest version of Apple's iOS software, they're running into bugs plaguing battery life, WiFi connectivity, and more. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Company Copies Keys From Photos

Company Copies Keys From Photos

Newsy (Sep. 22, 2014) — A new company allows customers to make copies of keys by simply uploading a couple of photos. But could it also be great for thieves? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cat Lovers Flock to Los Angeles

Cat Lovers Flock to Los Angeles

AFP (Sep. 22, 2014) — The best funny internet cat videos are honoured at LA's Feline Film Festival. Duration: 00:56 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins