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Team DARwIn, NimbRo Score Big At RoboCup 2011

Dr. Dennis Hong and his students pose with the Louis Vuitton Cup

Virginia Tech’s Team DARwIn has made RoboCup history as the first U.S. team to win both the KidSize and AdultSize League’s soccer competitions, and won Best Overall Humanoid Award (the coveted Louis Vuitton Humanoid Cup) in both categories!  They share the KidSize award with the University of Pennsylvania, who also worked on the DARwIn-OP robot.  At the finals, they squared off against Japan’s CIT Brains in the KidSize League, and Singapore’s Robo-Erectus in the AdultSize league.

Germany’s Darmstadt Dribblers took 1st place in the KidSize technical challenge, while Japan’s Team JoiTech took 1st place in the AdultSize technical challenge.  The Darmstadt Dribblers have dominated the KidSize League since Team Osaka bowed out.  It was actually the Dribblers’ faculty advisor, Prof. Oskar von Stryk, that insisted Virginia Tech get involved in RoboCup back in 2007.  Since then, the labs at Darmstadt University of Technology and Virginia Tech have become friends, and exchange students regularly to work on various robotics projects.  In 2009, Virginia Tech faced off against Darmstadt in the semi finals but were shot down, and ended up in 4th place.  Finally, after 5 years, Virginia Tech managed to defeat their friendly rivals in a match that many consider to be one of the most exciting in RoboCup history (video forthcoming).

Meanwhile, Germany’s Team NimbRo won both the TeenSize competition and technical challenge, plus they won 1st place in the @Home challenge.  The Standard League (comprised only of Aldebaran Robotics’ NAO robots) results haven’t appeared on the official RoboCup 2011 webpage just yet.  Enjoy these video summarizing their winning finals matches:

Video (KidSize League):

Video (AdultSize League):

Since 2002, the Louis Vuitton Humanoid Cup has been in Japan for 7 years, then Germany had it for 2 years.  This is the first time a team from the U.S. has won the award.  And, after seeing the performance of the DARwIn-OP and CHARLI-2, it’s no surprise that they won!  Congratulations!

[sources: Virginia Tech News, RoboCup 2011, BotSportTV @ YouTube, DutchRobotics @ YouTube]