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Carnegie Mellon Team Wins 5th International RoboCup Championship

The CMDragons are five-time world champions of RoboCup. This year's team (from left to right): Steven Klee, Richard Wang, Juan Pablo Mendoza, Manuela Veloso, Joydeep Biswas and Danny Zhu. Not pictured: Philip Cooksey. (Photo credit: CMU)
The CMDragons are five-time world champions of RoboCup. This year’s team (from left to right): Steven Klee, Richard Wang, Juan Pablo Mendoza, Manuela Veloso, Joydeep Biswas and Danny Zhu. Not pictured: Philip Cooksey. (Photo credit: CMU)

More than 170 teams came out for this year’s RoboCup, which took place in Heifi, China. The event included a variety of challenges, including a robot rescue contest and soccer competitions for robots of various sizes.

Highlights included a big win for the Carnegie Mellon University team CMDragons. The team played a shut out game against MRL, a team from Qazvin Islamic Azad University in Iran, securing the championship in the Small Size League (SSL). It was the fifth world championship for the school.

“An accomplishment of this nature requires an extremely high level of team commitment and discipline, in terms of ideas and software development. I have worked with RoboCup teams for many years, and this year’s students were extremely engaged,” said Manuela Veloso, the Herbert A. Simon University Professor in the School of Computer Science. Veloso advises the team and helped to launch the Robot World Cup Initiative, or RoboCup for short, in 1997.

SSL, is one of five RoboCup Soccer leagues, and features robots less than six-inches tall. Each team can have six players on the field at one time. Color-codes on top of each robot are tracked by camera mounted above the field, so that the bots can coordinate their movements based on their programming. Computers located off the field relay strategy.

“Our consistent, aggressive multi-robot attack led to incredible multi-step passes and goals,” Veloso said. “Of the 48 points the CMDragons scored during the tournament, a vast majority was the result of continuous passes and aggressive rebound taking.”

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