Story posted May 28, 2008
Bowdoin's RoboCup team, Northern Bites, has won the 2008 RoboCup U.S. Open, held May 25-27, in Pittsburgh, Pa.
Having won all four of its games in the tournament on Sunday and Monday, the Northern Bites advanced to the finals on Tuesday, beating Texas, 2-1.
"It was by far the most exciting game we have ever played," said team advisor Eric Chown.
"We opened up a 2-0 lead in the first half, but Texas played a terrific second half. They had the ball in our goal box on numerous occasions only to have our keeper knock it away."
The Northern Bites had defeated the University of Texas team, Austin Villa, in earlier play, after which Chown noted it was essentially a rematch of last year's world championship game against the NUBots, of the University of Newcastle in Australia, saying that the leader of the Nubots — and his computer code — are now at Texas.
Northern Bites were RoboCup's 2007 world champions. Click here to read more about their victory.
RoboCup brings together teams of soccer-playing robot dogs from all over the world.
Northern Bites comprises five Sony Aibo robots, programmed by Bowdoin students, that compete on a five-meter by seven-meter field.
Last year teams consisted of four robots and played on a four-meter by six-meter field.
This evolution, which continually brings the rules more in line with "real" soccer, reflects RoboCup's goal as it strives to fulfill its mission statement: "By the year 2050, develop a team of fully autonomous humanoid robots that can win against the human world soccer champion team."
The robots operate with no external control by humans or computers, and are executing programs written entirely by Bowdoin students, who must also calibrate the robots to each new environment — particularly with regard to color vision.
Northern Bites 2008 RoboCup U.S. Open Wins
Metrobots (Brooklyn College) 9-0
Austin Villa (University of Texas) 3-2
Brown University forfeit
CM Dash (Carnegie Mellon) 5-2
U.S. Open Finals
Bowdoin 2, Texas 1