Robotic soccer team UChile, part of the FCFM’s Department of Electric Engineering and the AMTC, got again the fourth place at the finals of the 2016 edition of the RoboCup, event held in Leipzig, Germany, from June 30th to July 3rd. The team, represented there by eight students from our Faculty, competed in the Standard Platform League, in which all participants use the same robots.
After a first match that meant defeat to the Chileans, the only South Americans in the tournament, a series of victories came forth that took the team’s seven NAO robots (manufactured by SoftBank Robotics, formerly Aldebaran Robotics) to the semifinals. Unfortunately, in such stage, played on Sunday July 3rd, UChile fell to team B-Human, from the University of Bremen, with a 6-1 score. Then the University of Leipzig’s NAO-Team HTWK won the third place after beating UChile 4 to 1.
The first place was finally won by B-Human, thus earning their fifth champion title at RoboCup. Previously the team has won seven times the RoboCup German Open and once the RoboCup European Open.
¿How does the team evaluate this new fourth place? “It makes very happy and satisfied”, tells PhD student José Miguel Yáñez, the UChile captain. “In this league to retain the position doesn’t mean that we didn’t improve. This year we could face the new challenges, such as the new ball design, better than most of the other teams”.
He adds: “These new challenges ‘disassembled’ the order of the teams’ performances. Last year in China we had more or less clear which teams could beat us and which teams we could beat, so in a way we could predict the results. Not this year, we had technical problems and made a few mistakes that made us lose the first match. In the second match, during half-time we could correct an error and our performance improved a lot. And so we had uncertainty about the outcome of each game, which adds a great deal of stress and emotion to the tournament. The matches were very good, the teams were very good, we managed to put up with the rest of the players, which means that order and teamwork is our key, I feel very proud of that. Personally, this was one of the best RoboCups I’ve attended”.
UChile starts now their preparation for the 2017 RoboCup, which will be played in Nagoya, Japan. And the team is already thinking what improvements to make in order to aspire to a higher place. “We have a lot of ideas, all of them still in the air, so we have to sit down and discuss them. To still improve our performance at ball detection, to figure out tactics in particular cases and to deal with the new challenge for next year: a synthetic grass carpet”, tells Yáñez.
UChile vs. NAO Devils, semifinals match played July 2nd, 2016