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A first participation to the Robot World Cup

More than 40 students from Toulon University have worked during one year on our RoboCup project in order to participate in the robot soccer World Cup 2019.

After being qualified in February, Robot Club Toulon went to Sydney in July to compete in the Middle Size League (MSL), considered as one of the most difficult ones.

Participating in this first competition was a real challenge. First, we where the first french team in MSL for ten years, then building a whole team in only one year is a very difficult challenge considering the number of technical and organizational issues, including carrying a team of robots over the world.

Toulon University RCT Team

Toulon University Team at work in Sydney

Toulon University at RoboCup

Exchanging with other teams

One of the most interesting aspects of the RoboCup is the exchange between teams. Considering the RoboCup is an open-data one, everyone is encouraged to share its knowledge with other teams, here the Japanese MSL team.

400 teams, 3500 participants

Following other team games

Working on a real soccer field

Working on robot positionning required a lot of time. Without having a full field at home, it was not possible to validate our algorithm before arriving to Sydney.

Exchanging with the other leagues

Many ideas and cooperations can be initiated by watching the other Leagues. Here, the standard league using NAO robots.

Robot Club Toulon team during the closing ceremony

Impressed by the skill level of the competition, we have one idea : coming back next year with improved and more com:petitive robots.

Following other leagues

Every league has its own difficulties, and solutions developped by teams are full of creativity and intelligence. Here, the humanoid kid size league, won by Rhoban, the Bordeaux french team.

Watching the finals

Exchange with other teams, here the Japanese MSL team from Fukuoka University

Many thanks to Toulon University and to our sponsors

Participating into one of the most difficult robot competition wouldn’t be possible without the support of our sponsors, and we want to thanks them again :

  • Toulon University : we where very proud of representing Toulon University and France in RoboCUp MSL, among the best robots teams from all over the world. We really thank our president and all the people involved in this project at Toulon University.

  • IUT of Toulon which is a part of Toulon University, played a major role for funding and organizing administratively the project, and also for the technical contribution of their skilled staff, especially at GEII and GMP departments.

  • Conseil Departemental du Var for their major contribution in funding the project and for their strong support.

  • SICK : many thanks to SICK company for their amazingly robust and reliable sensors used in our robots. Our TIM561 Lidars where particularly studied by other teams to imagine what can be done with them in combination with imaging sensors.

  • Radiospares : many thanks to Radiospares for their support in the RoboCup 2019, as a very efficient component and parts supplier in mechanics and electronics.

2019 Results

RoboCup Middle Size League has a scientifical and technical challenge dedicated to present one or more innovations in any technical domain related to the RoboCup.

Our team has presented two innovations about omnidirectional vision systems and kicking system optimisation. We where given the third place for the points awarded to the 2019 scientific and technical improvements, just after the 2 last world champions, Tech United from Netherland and Cambada from Portugal. As a final score, we where awarded a 6th overall place on the scientific and technical challenge because the final ranking takes into account the competition results of the last few years.

One of these innovations has been published in an international conference paper involving several students of Seatech, as well has the team description paper which has been publishd also. A journal paper has also been accepted for this topic.

Considering the competition in itself, our team didn’t participated in full games, because we spent much time on making our camera based positionning system work. The reason is simple, we don’t have a full field at home in Toulon, and for the first year, we needed time to set-up our system and algorithms in a real full size field.

During the week, every member of RCT team spent hours for exchanging with other team members, studying and understanding how other robots are working. Now, we have a clear view of the roadmap for being competitive in RoboCup Bordeaux 2020 !

Robot Club Toulon Team in Sydney

Conclusion

As a conclusion, it was a priority to enter the competition this year in order to understand the league, to meet other teams, and to share experience with them. We also met many people from other leagues, such as humanoid leagues, leading to strong connections with other french teams and with researchers from all over the world.

More than this, we have achieved a very good result in the scientific and technical challenge just after two former world champions. 

Thanks again to everyone having supported or participated in this project, and congratulations to all the students who spent countless hours of hard work on it !

And now, let’s go to Bordeaux 2020 for a new challenge !