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A Little Love for Team DARwIn

I was somewhat dismayed when I read on Gizmodo concerning the recent RoboCup:

…when is the US finally going to have a competitive tiny robot soccer program of its own?

Well, the U.S. does indeed have a team competing at RoboCup.  I’m speaking of course of VT RoMeLa’s Team DARwIn, the first U.S. team to compete at RoboCup in the humanoid league.  They also competed in the AdultSize League this year with CHARLI-L, taking home a trophy for 3rd place.  The challenges of building a robot measuring some 5 feet tall means fewer teams compete in that size category (only 6 teams this year), and some technical difficulties and broken parts meant CHARLI-L was operating at a disadvantage.

In the KidSize League, the team managed to shut out a few of their competitors and pretty much dominated every match they were in up until they faced off against the reigning champions, the Darmstadt Dribblers.  It’s interesting to note that members of the Dribblers actually encouraged the researchers at RoMeLa to compete in RoboCup back when they weren’t participating, and the two labs have hosted visits back and forth over the years.

Team DARwIn missed coming in 3rd place overall by a single point against the CIT Brains (Chiba Institute of Technology), placing 4th overall.  Not bad at all, considering some 24 teams from around the world competed in the KidSize League.  Here’s a quick look at some of their bots in action for a a promotion in Hong Kong:

Video (Mirror):

A few more photos of RoMeLa’s RoboCup shenanigans follow after the break.

[source: VaCAS ]


Image credit:
Dr. Dennis Hong, Virginia Tech RoMeLa

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