Georgia Tech/Carnegie Mellon Team Takes 2nd Place at RoboCup 2008

July 29, 2008

GT/CMUnited’08, a team made up of members from Georgia Tech Computing and Carnegie Mellon University, placed second in their league at Robocup 2008, an international robotic soccer competition held July 14-20 in Suzhou, China.
Teams from 14 universities around the world competed in the standard-platform Nao sub-league, where two-legged humanoid robots play soccer on a 5-by-7-meter field. The Nao, a 22-inch-tall humanoid robot made by Aldebaran Robotics of France, was used for the first time this year by all 16 teams.
Once programmed, the Nao robots operate fully autonomously without external control by humans or computers. That way the teams can concentrate on software development while still using state-of-the-art robots.
Scores of other teams competed in other Robocup leagues using small, mid-sized and four-legged robots such as the Sony-made Aibo, a robotic dog.
In the final game, GT/CMUnited’08 played against the NUManoids, a joint team from the University of Newcastle in Australia and the National University of Ireland that took first place in the Aibo league at last year’s Robocup. Neither team scored a goal during the game, but the NUManoids scored more penalty kicks during the tie-breaker to win the game.
The goal of the international RoboCup soccer initiative is to develop a team of humanoid robots that is able to win against the human world soccer championship team by 2050. In some ways the RoboCup challenge is the successor of the chess challenge that was resolved in 1997 when the computer Deep Blue beat world chess champion Garry Kasparov.