Estonian robot footballers competing in Germany
UT students and their programmed robots team Philosopher are in Germany at the major international event RoboCup, where they are aiming high in robot football.
The greatest challenge in robot football is that by the time of the match, robots must be fully developed. Once on the field, human team members can no longer instruct the robots. The machines need to comprehend the surroundings by using sensors and make decisions independently during the match. This means that before the match, the development team needs to code as much different behavioural patterns and possible solutions in the robots as possible.
Member of the student team of the UT Institute of Technology Anastasia Bolotnikova was hopeful that after a year of development work, the team can show on the field how they have improved the robots’ software compared to previous years. Last year they achieved 11th place.
Bolotnikova described that during the match there are 10 robots on the field at a time—five from UT and five from the rival team. “We have a goal keeper, defence player, striker and two other field players. Each robot tries to act in their own zone on the field to find the ball and kick it in the right goal while following all the game rules,” described Bolotnikova.
According to Estonians, the greatest challenge this year is identifying the new ball: “In previous years the ball has been bright orange but this year they are using a realistic black and white football. Robots of several teams have had problems with detecting the ball because of this.”
Philosopher’s participation in RoboCup is supported by the UT iCV research group, UT Idea Lab and UT. The team is also thankful to Anti Heinla for his support.