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This Orange Robot does have a good chance of winning a World Cup

The real World Cup has to do without Orange, but the World Cup robot football (the RoboCup) is not. The TU Eindhoven team, playing in orange, hopes to reach the final for the eleventh time in a row. The playing fields are more than 40 percent larger this year, to give offensive football more chances.

That plays the robot-Orange in the card, but there is also a catch: the goals are getting 20 per cent wider. The team will fly to Montreal (Canada) tomorrow afternoon, where the RoboCup will be held from 18 to 22 June.

Catennacio football

In recent years, the main competitors in the Middle Size League of the RoboCup have focused on a kind of catennacio football, says Eindhoven team captain Wouter Kuijpers. “ Certainly the Chinese and the Portuguese can defend almost everything dead on the square meter.With 2 teams of 5 robots on less than a hundred square meters, the field was actually too full.Therefore football became a little chess, with often boring matches.

Certainly more goals

The RoboCup federation now sees this as well and therefore decided to increase the fields by more than 40 percent, to 22×14 meters. As a result, the robots are expected to have more room to play football, to fit, to combine and to create opportunities. And then robots are very accurate, as can be seen in the demo of last month.

However, there is also a but. The goals are broadening by half a meter, and the defense is not traditionally the strongest side of the Eindhoven game, so the goalkeeper will probably get busier. There will certainly be more goals, but it has not yet been determined that they will fall ‘on the other side’.

RoboCup

The RoboCup is the World Cup for self-steering robots, robots that are not controlled by humans. The RoboCup federation regularly updates the rules, with the aim of forcing the teams to innovate further. The underlying goal of the RoboCup is to stimulate the development of reliable and affordable self-managing (autonomous) robots that benefit society. As a dot on the horizon, RoboCup has therefore set the goal that football robots in 2050 must be so far that they can beat the human world champion football.

A crucial factor here is that the robot can deal with uncertainty and new situations, something that the football robots are at the forefront of. TU Eindhoven recently started a major project to transfer its years of knowledge and expertise to the industry.

Appen with the robot

Another branch of robot sport in which Eindhoven University of Technology meets the RoboCup is the @ home-League. That is the category of help-in-house robots. In this, robots are being developed that can, among other things, help older people to live independently at home longer. The Eindhoven team ends with its robot AMIGO invariably in the top, but the highest final position so far is the silver. Apart from AMIGO, SERGIO is also taking part, the successor to AMIGO that will take over the baton next year.

New this year is that people per app can give assignments to the Eindhoven care robots, a novelty with which they will definitely pick up points.

The RoboCup, with some four thousand participants from around 35 countries, takes place every year in another metropolis and this year Montreal is the location.

The group matches are from Monday to Wednesday (18-20 June). The semi-finals and the finals are on Thursday, June 21st. The final of the football robots starts at 8:30 PM Thursday Dutch time. The football matches consist of two halves of fifteen minutes each.

Robot football talk show

The matches of the team from Eindhoven will be followed live via robocup.live and will be provided with match comment. Furthermore, on robocup.live there is a daily live ‘football talk show’ from the RoboCup, with famous Fleming and tv-nerd Lieven Scheire as table manager.

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