First African team competes in RoboCup World Cup

03 September 2008 | Story by Newsroom

Robocup team
Bots and all: Competing at the RoboCup were, back row, Dr Alexander Ferrein of Aachen University, UCT's Asief Brey, Andre Scholtz (UCT), and front row, Marco Gallotta (UCT), Graeme McPhillips (UCT), Tim Niemueller (Aachen University), Christof Rath and Tobias Kellner, both of the Graz University of Technology.

UCT sent the first RoboCup team from Africa to compete in the recent RoboCup World Cup, held in Suzhou, China.

The team of staff and students from the Robotics and Agents Research Laboratory in the Department of Mechanical Engineering were part of an international collaboration between RWTH Aachen University, Germany, and Graz University of Technology, Austria.

A total of 16 teams were chosen world wide for the launch.

RoboCup is an international research and education initiative that fosters artificial intelligence and robotics research by providing a standard problem where a wide range of technologies can be examined and integrated.

The concept of soccer-playing robots was first introduced in 1993. The ultimate goal of the RoboCup project is to develop a team of fully autonomous humanoid robots that can win against the human world champions in soccer by 2050.

The UCT team and their international partners participated in the Standard Platform league where all teams use identical robots - the humanoid Aldebaran Nao - and the teams concentrate on software development.

These robots operate fully autonomously, in other words there is no external control by people or by computers.

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