Northern Bites RoboCup Team Takes Third in World Championship Games

Story posted July 20, 2008

Bowdoin's Northern Bites RoboCup Aibo team has won third place in the 2008 RoboCub World Championship games held July 14-20 in Suzhou, China.

The four-legged team took third place with a 3-1 win over Austin Villa of the University of Texas.

RoboCup World300.jpg
Northern Bites Aibo team in action at the 2008 RoboCup World Championship in Suzhou, China.

"All in all, it is a fantastic competition for us — finishing top-five in the world with two different teams is a pretty amazing accomplishment for a bunch of liberal arts undergraduates," said team adviser Eric Chown.

"The German Team, by contrast, consists of four different German Universities with graduate students and faculty from each.

"The Bites wrapped up the competition without being outscored in any game," he said. "Our only loss came on penalty kicks to the eventual champ, The German Team."

The Northern Bites two-legged team also lost to the eventual champion, in this case the NUmanoids of the University of Newcastle in Australia. "The Bites were plagued by continuing camera problems (the fault of the robots not the students) and played much of the match essentially blind," Chown said. "The result leaves the Bites tied for fifth place in the world and guarantees a spot in next year's competition in Austria."

Northern Bites 2008 RoboCup World Championship Play

Pool Play Wins

Cerebrus (Turkey) 6-0

TJ Ark (China) 3-0

Sharp Kung Fu (China) 9-0

University of Texas (United States) 4-2

Quarterfinals Win

Tec Rams (Mexico) 10-0

Semifinals Loss

The German Team (Germany) 2-0

Finals win

Austin Willa (University of Texas/U.S.) 3-1

Up-To-Date Robot Blog


The Northern Bites won the 2008 RoboCup U.S. Open, held May 25-27, in Pittsburgh, Pa.

Read about the win here.

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.

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