Dagstuhl: Day 1 Session 2

The second session on Day 1 of the Computer Science in Sport Conference (Special Emphasis:Football) at Schloss Dagstuhl was dedicated to Robocup.
Sven Behnke (Universitat Bonn) introduced the session with some historical background about Robocup competitions. (Some of Sven’s publications can be found here.)
Bernhard Nebel (University of Freiburg, location 48° 0.822′ N, 007° 50.045′ E (WGS84)) provided further background about the origins of Robocup. He discussed sensor interpretation (inputs and outputs) and noted the importance of cooperative sensing.
Bernhard explored the ways in which robots can act cooperatively:

  •    Avoidance of interference
  •    Task decomposition and re-allocation
  •    Joint execution
  •    Dynamic role re-assignment

There are four roles for each robot in 4v4 Robocup: goalkeeper (fixed), active player, supporter, and strategic. Each role has a preferred location that is situation dependent. Each player computes the utility for each outfield role and shares it with the other outfield robots.
Bernhard discussed the development of table soccer as a micro-version of large space games. There is a commercially available table (National Geographic has a video about this table). This table uses a reactive scheme but Bernhard has been looking at anticipation schemes with decision theoretic planning. Recent research has simulated games between a decision theoretic system against a reactive system.
Sven and Berhard’s presentations stimulated a great deal of interest and questions.
Sven concluded the session with a discussion of technical challenges in humanoid robot design and performance (see, for example, Saskia Metzler, Matthias Nieuwenhuisen and Sven Behnke. Learning Visual Obstacle Detection Using Color Histogram Features.)

Photo Credit
ASIMO in Deep Space 2010


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