Story posted May 03, 2009
The 2009 RoboCup U.S. Open for the Standard Platform League, held May 2 and 3, drew to a close with Bowdoin's team, the Northern Bites, in fourth place.
After tying Carnegie Mellon University 1-1 in pool play on Saturday, the Northern Bites' Nao humanoid robots suffered broken shoulders, knees and cameras, resulting in losses to the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Texas.
A representative from Aldebaran, the company that produces the Nao, was on hand and helped fix them, and the team was optimistic as they advanced to Sunday's semifinals.
The Northern Bites would end up losing the semifinal match with Carnegie Mellon University 3-0, securing fourth place in the tournament, which was held in the new Sidney J. Watson Arena.
Final 2009 RoboCup U.S. Open results:
1. University of Texas at Austin
2. University of Pennsylvania
3. Carnegie Mellon University
4. Bowdoin College
The Northern Bites four-legged team won the 2008 U.S. Open held in Pittsburgh, Pa. In 2007, the Northern Bites were the RoboCup world champions in the four-legged league.
In this year's competition with Nao humanoid robots, there were four robots per team, competing on a 4.4 by 6.8 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.
Visit the Northern Bites site