An introduction to robocup
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An Introduction to RoboCup. June 10, 2007 by Seyed Ehsan Safavieh. Overview of RoboCup. The Robot World Cup Initiative “By the year 2050, develop a team of fully autonomous humanoid robots that can win against the human world soccer champion team.” A standard problem for AI research.

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An Introduction to RoboCup

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An Introduction to RoboCup

June 10, 2007

by Seyed Ehsan Safavieh


Overview of RoboCup

  • The Robot World Cup Initiative

  • “By the year 2050, develop a team of fully autonomous humanoid robots that can win against the human world soccer champion team.”

  • A standard problem for AI research


Overview of RoboCup

  • Started in 1992 as the Robot J-League (Japan)

  • First games and conferences in 1997

  • Workshops, conferences and yearly competitions


World Championships


RoboCup Classes


RoboCup Soccer Leagues


RoboCup four-legged

  • Two teams of four-legged robots (Sony AIBO's) compete against each other. The robots are entirely autonomous and no human intervention is allowed.

  • The robots use wireless networking to communicate with each other and with the game referee. Challenges include vision, self-localization, planning, and multi-agent coordination.


RoboCup small size

  • In this league, two teams of small-sized robots compete. This event focuses on the issues of multi-agent cooperation with a hybrid centralized/distributed system.


RoboCup middle size

  • Two teams of mid-sized robots compete against each other. All sensors are on-board. Robots are entirely autonomous and no human intervention is allowed. Robots can use wireless networking to communicate.


RoboCup Humanoid

  • In this league, robots with human-like bodies and human-like sensing compete. This league has two subcategories: Kid-size and Teen-size. This league currently consists of penalty kicks and 2-on-2 soccer matches.


RoboCup Simulation

  • Server

  • Monitor clients

  • Player clients (i.e. agents!)

  • Coach clients


Simulator Mechanics


Client

Client

Client

Server

Client

Client

Client

Client

Client

Client

Client

Client

Client

Clients and Server

  • One server

  • Up to 11 clients per team (plus coach)

  • Clients/server communicate via UDP/IP


Client

Client

Client

Server

Client

Client

Client

Client

Client

Client

Client

Client

Client

  • Can be written in any language (C++, Java, Smalltalk, ...)

  • Can be run on same machine or a network

  • Clients may talk only to the server... not to each other!


Client

Client

Client

Server

Client

Client

Client

Client

Client

Client

Client

Client

Client

Coach

Coach

Soccer Monitor

  • Monitor(s) used to visualize the action and/or interrupt the game

  • Coaches (optional) to give guidance to teams


RoboCup Clients

  • Autonomous agents

  • The “brains” of the players

  • Sensory information received from server, decision made, action command sent back to server

  • One agent represents one player

  • One agent designates itself as the goalie


time

play mode

my body

landmarks

other players

speech

coach instructions

dash

turn

turn head

kick

catch

speak

Player

Agent

decision-making

strategy

Sensory Input

Outputs

RoboCup Clients


RoboCup Server

  • Keeps time (typically 6000 simulator cycles, 10 cycles per second)

  • Receives client messages, updates “world model”, sends back new status information

  • “Automated Referee” tracks current play mode


Play Modes


Starting a Game

  • Download and install applications (running the configure and make scripts for the Unix / Linux systems)

  • Run the Server (default host is localhost and default port is 6000)

  • Run the Monitor, connecting to the host and port of the Server

  • Connect the players to the Server host and port

  • Start the kick-off!


Coaches

  • Privileged clients used to provide assistance

  • Receives noise-free view of the whole field

  • Can only send occasional messages to players (info, advice, freeform, etc.)

  • Used for opponent modelling, game analysis, giving strategic tips to teammates


RoboCup Clients


Some RoboCup Clients

  • UvA Trilearn (Amsterdam) (2003 champion)

  • CMUnited (Carnegie Mellon)

  • Everest (China)

  • FC Portugal 2003 (Portugal)

  • HELIOS (Japan)

  • Magma Furtwangen (Germany)


Typical Approaches

  • Hard-coded behaviour

  • Scripted behaviour (e.g. planning)

  • Neural Networks

  • Opponent Modelling

  • Layered Learning

  • Behaviour Networks


Example: UvA Trilearn

  • Coordination Graphs for passing, anticipating passes

  • Layered skills hierarchy (pass, intercept)

  • Formations

  • Behaviour modelling of opponents


Example: FC Portugal

  • Strategic, ball possession, ball recovery behaviours

  • “Situation Based Strategic Positioning”

  • Given game situation, calculated best position and go there


Example: Krislet

  • Only one strategy: run to the ball and try to kick it!

  • Surprisingly effective

  • Written in Java, easy to extend


Client

Client

Client

Server

Client

Client

Client

Client

Client

Client

Client

Client

Client

Coach

Coach

Soccer Simulation Leagues

  • 2D

  • 3D

  • Coach


Other Projects

  • Soccer Server 3D

  • 3D Soccer Monitor (Robologvis)

  • Tools to convert logs into Flash animations

  • Log analyzers (eg. Team Assistant, Paul Marlow’s Classifier)


RoboCup Rescue Leagues


Earthquake Disaster

  • Top 10 earthquakes in the 20th century


RoboCup Rescue Robot

  • In the Rescue Robot league, robots explore a specially constructed disaster site about the size of a small house. The disaster site includes mannequins with various signs of life, such as waving hands, shouting noises and heat, hidden amongst stairs, platforms and building rubble.


RoboCup Rescue Robot

  • The robots, some under human control, must find and approach the victims, identify their signs of life and produce a map of the site showing where the victims are located. The aim is to provide human rescuers with enough information to safely perform a rescue. Each team is scored based on the quality of its maps, the accuracy of the victim information and the number of victims found.


RoboCup Rescue Simulation

  • Disaster environment is simulated in computer

  • Aims to simulate large urban areas

  • 2D simulation (Although simulation is in 2D, 3D viewer is now available)


RoboCup Rescue Simulation

  • Multi-agent approach, heterogeneous agents, rescue strategies are tested

  • Seven different types of agent

    • Ambulance, fire fighter, police agents and control center agents for each of them, and civilians

  • Cooperation is needed among agents

    • Communication is limited


RoboJunior Leagues


RoboJunior Dance

  • This is the oldest RoboCupJunior event. One or more robots come together with music, dressed in costume and moving in creative harmony.


RoboJunior Soccer

  • In this event, 2-on-2 teams of autonomous mobile robots play in a highly dynamic environment, tracking a special light-emitting ball in an enclosed, landmarked field.


RoboJunior Rescue

  • In this event, robots identify victims within re-created disaster scenarios, varying in complexity from line-following on a flat surface to negotiating paths through obstacles on uneven terrain,


References

  • www.robocup.org

  • www.robocup-us.org

  • www.robocup2006.org

  • Most of the information about RoboCup itself was taken using from the RoboCup Soccer Server manual.

  • For the latest manuals and code, visit the RoboCup project website at:

    • http://sourceforge.net/projects/sserver


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