RoboCanes Soccer Team Excels at 2016 RoboCup World Championship in Germany

UM College of Arts and Sciences artificial intelligence humanoids among top 10 teams in the world at robot league competition

The RoboCanes, a team of autonomous, soccer-playing robots developed by students and faculty at the University of Miami College of Arts and Sciences, reached a milestone at the 2016 RoboCup Championship in Germany, the world’s largest artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics event.

The RoboCanes team defeated numerous humanoid soccer squads from around the world before advancing to the intermediate play for the quarterfinal round, which is where the RoboCanes met their match and lost 0-8 from team TU Dortmund, the new outdoor World Champion. 

Associate Professor of Computer Science Dr. Ubbo Visser, who leads the RoboCanes project alongside a group of computer science students, said, “We reached a momentous stage at RoboCup. Not only did we come close to making the quarterfinals this year, but we were the only team with robots that could walk stable on various surfaces, from granite to grass and indoor carpet.”

Before the RoboCanes were eliminated from the championship, they overpowered teams from Estonia, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, and China. The robot teams usually include up to 15 students, yet UM’s RoboCanes is made up of only four students from the Department of Computer Science operating up to five robots at one time.

“RoboCup serves as a vehicle to promote robotics and AI research by offering a publicly appealing and formidable challenge,” said Visser. “Building a robot that plays soccer will not generate significant social and economic impact, but the accomplishment is considered a major achievement for the field.”

RoboCup promotes robotics and AI research by offering an integrated research platform that covers areas including reactive behavior, strategy, real-time planning, vision, motor control, context recognition, and more. Next year marks the 20th anniversary of the RoboCup World Championship, taking place in Nagoya, Japan.

The RoboCanes Team (from left to right): Kyle Poore, Pedro Peña, Andreas Seekircher, Dr. Ubbo Visser with his son Jannes Visser, and Chloe Arluck.



July 08, 2016