RoboCup-97: The First Robot World Cup Soccer Games and Conferences

By Noda, Itsuki; Suzuki, Shoji et al. | AI Magazine, Fall 1998 | Go to article overview

RoboCup-97: The First Robot World Cup Soccer Games and Conferences


Noda, Itsuki, Suzuki, Shoji, Matsubara, Hitoshi, Asada, Minoru, Kitano, Hiroaki, AI Magazine


RoboCup-97, The First Robot World Cup Soccer Games and Conferences, was held at the Fifteenth International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence. There were two leagues: (1) real robot and (2) simulation. Ten teams participated in the realrobot league and 29 teams in the simulation league. Over 150 researchers attended the technical workshop. The world champions are CMUNTED (Carnegie Mellon University) for the small-size league, DREAMrEAM (University of Southern Califor nia) and TRACKIES (Osaka University, Japan) for the middle-size league, and AT-HUMBOLDT (Humboldt University) for the simulation league. The Scientific Challenge Award was given to Sean Luke (University of Maryland) for his genetic programming-based simulation team LUKE, and the Engineering Challenge Awards were given to uTOw UNITED (Utsunomiya University, Toyo University, and Riken, Japan) and RMIT (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia) for designing novel omnidirectional driving mechanisms. Over 5000 spectators and 70 international media covered the competition worldwide. RoboCup-98, the Second Robot World Cup Soccer, was held in conjunction with the Third International Conference on Multiagent Systems in Paris, France, in July 1998.

RoboCup is an attempt to promote AI and robotics research by providing a comon task, soccer, for evaluation of various theories, algorithms, and agent architectures (Kitano, Asada, et al. 1997). RoboCup-97, the First Robot World Cup Soccer Games and Conferences, was held on 22-28 August 1997 at the Fifteenth International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI-97) (figure 1). It was organized by RoboCup Japanese National Committee and Nihon Keizai Shinbun Inc., and it was sponsored by Namco Limited, Sony Corporation, Nihon Sun Microsystems K.K., and Itochu Techno-Science Corporation. Over 5000 people watched the games, and over 100 international media (such as CNN, ABC, Le Monde, Le Figaro, Der Spigel, The Australian, NHK, and Sky Channels), as well as prominent scientific magazines such as Science, covered them. The First RoboCup Workshop was also held (Kitano 1997). This article reports on RoboCup-9 7.

RoboCup-97 had two leagues: (1) the realrobot league and (2) the simulation league. Aside from the world championship awards, RoboCup created the RoboCup Scientific Challenge Award and the Engineering Challenge Award to be equally prestigious. Detailed information about RoboCup is given at www. robocup.org/RoboCup. In this issue of AI Magazine, winners of each league contributed an article describing scientific aspects of their teams.

Real-Robot League

The Real-Robot League, which uses physical robots to play soccer games, consists of several categories. At RoboCup-97, there were two categories for game competition and one for skill competition.

The small-size league is a team consisting of five robots and plays on a field that is equivalent to one Ping-Pong table. Each robot is about 15 centimeters (cm) in diameter, or under 180 cm2, and the maximum length must be less than 18 cm. An orange golf ball is used.

In the middle-size league, there are five robots to a team, and each robot must be less than 50 cm in diameter, or 2,000 cm2. A Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) size-4 Futsal ball is used. The field of play is equivalent to 9 Ping-Pong tables (3 tables by 3 tables).

The expert-robot league is for competition between robots having special skills. These skills concentrate on isolated aspects of the game of soccer.

For the real-robot league at RoboCup-97, about 10 teams throughout the world participated in the competition: 4 teams (CMUNITED [Carnegie Mellon University (CMU)], MICROB [Paris-VI, France], ROGI-II [University of Girona, Spain], and NAIST [Nara Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (NAIST),) in the small-size robot league, 5 teams (DREAMTEAM Information Sciences Institute-University of Southern California (USC-ISI)], TRACKIES [Osaka University, Japan], ULLANTA [Ullanta Performance Robotics, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), Australia], and UTTORI UNITED [a joint team of Riken, Toyo University, and Utsunomiya University,) in the middle-size league, and 2 teams (RMIT [Australia] and Colorado School of Mines) in the expert-robot league. …

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