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July 16, 2014
Members of Georgia Tech’s RoboJackets are headed to Brazil to prepare for the RoboCup 2014 competition, where they will join 26 other teams in the northeastern coastal town of João Pessoa to compete in the Soccer Small Size League tournament.
The RoboCup “players” range in design from life-size humanoids to wheeled robots roughly the size of soccer balls. They will compete in five divisions on miniature indoor fields. The tournament runs from July 21-24, with the preceding weekend allotted for setup, testing, and an opening ceremony on Sunday. The event concludes on July 25 with an all-day symposium for adult participants and a workshop on educational robotics for RoboCup junior leagues.
Georgia Tech plans to compete in the Soccer Small Size League tournament using small, boxy robots with omnidirectional wheels. RoboJackets Vice President Lindsey Langstaff, an undergraduate student majoring in mechanical engineering, says she looks forward to working with other teams to help further research.
“You want to be able to bring something to the table that nobody’s come up with yet,” she says.
Organizers make the game tougher each year by changing parameters like field size or number of players. Next year, RoboCup co-chairman Alexandre da Silva Simoes, says, the robots might play outside.
RoboJackets is a diverse group of students, faculty, and alumni that aims to enhance the understanding of the field of robotics and its applications and increase the number of students exposed to robotics. They compete annually in five different robotics tournaments, serve as tour guides during the Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines’ annual National Robotics Week open house, and coordinate the regional FIRST Robotics Competition annual kickoff event.