Team DARwIn Takes First Place at RoboCup 2012
Soccer-playing robots may not have an innate competitive spirit pushing them toward the excitement of a win, but that doesn't mean that their programmers don't shout "Goal!" when they hit their mark.
Team DARwIn, comprised of roboticists from Penn Engineering and Virginia Tech, traveled to Mexico City to compete in RoboCup 2012 and came home with a first-place win after beating Japan's team CIT Brains 8-2 in the final match. The winning team, which stands for "Dynamic Anthropomorphic Robot with Intelligence" fielded robots in the in the Kid Size division of the Humanoid League. Defending their first-place title from 2011, the team's strategy this year included upping up the robots' speed and delivering backflip getup routines. In total, Team DARwIn scored 70 goals in 8 matches and allowed only 4 against.
Penn Engineering team members who traveled to the competition included graduate students Stephen McGill (ESE, Ph.D.), Seung-Joon Yi (ESE, Visiting Ph.D.), Yida Zhang (SSE, master's), William McGill (MSE, master's), Larry Abraham (Robotics, master's), Aditya Sreekumar (Robotics, master's), Jordan Brindza (Robotics, master's), and undergraduates Nicholas McGill (EE), Ashleigh Thomas (EE/Math), Spencer Lee (CMPE), William McDermid (CMPE), and Yizheng He (EE). Watch the final match below:
RoboCup is an international robotics competition that draws teams from all over the world to build and program robots that play soccer. The overarching aim of the competition is to have, by the mid 21st Century, a team of eleven autonomous robots that will beat the human soccer world champions. RoboCup is divided up into many different "leagues" of soccer, ranging from non-humanoids to adult-sized humanoids.