Rulebook Session

Rule changes proposed by multiple teams were discussed and put in a presentation. For each proposal ++/+/-/– was added to the corresponding slide to indicate whether a proposal was well or not so well received by the workshop participants. An important rule change proposal is replacing the green carpet by artificial grass for official matches, which was well-received by the workshop participants. Furthermore, an idea to make qualification results contribute to the ranking in the scientific challenge was adopted.

Before updating the rulebook the proposals will be further discussed via the official msl maillist.

Dissemination Session

Various actions to spread the workshop results, and to improve scientific impact of MSL in general were agreed upon:

  • The mixed team demo of the practical session should be described in a paper. Multiple participants are interested in contributing here. The exec committee will coordinate the writing and come up with a ‘sceleton’ for the paper.
  • Spectators of MSL matches do not always understand the large disturbances and uncertainties robots have to deal with while playing soccer. For RoboCup 2015 we will ask the LOC for an additional screen and field-cam such that teams can show their worldmodel visualization as an overlay to the real field.
  • The description of the mixed-team communication package should be updated and spread among the MSL community. Additions to the description in the workshop briefing include: team id, team color, rotation for self_loc, velocities for obstacles and self_loc, mixed_team_package version number, timestamp. For future workshops it is interesting to experiment with a dynamic package size, where for instance the list of obstacles in the package is only as long as the number of obstacles that are recognized.
  • As a league we will start an ‘MSL School’. Once every three months teams will be asked to contribute an explanation of a specific module of their software or hardware design, either in video, in text, or both. The software modules that are discussed should be put in a centralized repository and have a potential to turn into apps for what is going to be the ‘MSL App Store.’ Potential apps are:
    • Real-Time Database (RTDB) and Comm
    • Basestation visualization
    • Worldmodel, based on standardized mixed-team package imput
    • ALICA of Carpe Noctem
    • Omnivision localization algorithms
    • Omnivision calibration algorithms
    • ROS to standardized mixed-team package node
    • GUI to design utility fields
    • Refbox interface
    • Standardized simulator for MSL
    • JSON-Based Logging App

Practical Session

At the end of this practical session we were able to give a demo on a full-size MSL field with robots of five different teams, each running their own worldmodel software. This mixed-team was able to share knowledge via a standardized UDP Multicast package further described below. By doing this we work towards standardization of robot-robot communication and of software component interfaces, which eases mixed-team challenges and sharing of code.

Detailed description of the standardized package for inter-team robot to robot communication here . Video of the practical session here.

Presentation Session

Established teams presented new research projects they are working on for the upcoming year, startup teams presented overall choices for a software architecture, robot-design and team-organization. The final presentation of the day was a talk by Prof. Herman Bruyninckx on standardization for robot-robot communication. Slides and videos are available:

  • René van de Molengraft, Tech United Eindhoven, Kickoff – Video
  • Ruben Poorters, ASML Falcons, ASML (industry team), Team Introduction – Slides – Video
  • Andreas Witsch, Carpe Noctem, University of Kassel, Mutual Goal Agreement for Multi-Agent Systems – Slides– Video 1 – Video 2
  • Stephan Opfer, Carpe Noctem, University of Kassel, Team Update – Slides– Video
  • Robin Soetens, Tech United, Eindhoven University of Technology, Team Update – Slides
  • Frank Botden, Tech United, Eindhoven University of Technology, Sequential Clustering Algorithm for Ball Tracking During Lob-Passes – Slides
  • Sjoerd van den Dries, Tech United, Eindhoven University of Technology, A 3D Geometric, Object-based World Model – Slides
  • Kaihong Huang, NuBot, National University of Defense Technology, China, New Robot Platform – Slides– Video
  • Kaihong Huang, NuBot, National University of Defense Technology, China, EL6751 Configuration – Slides– Video
  • Evelien Snel, VDL Robot Sports, VDL (industry team), Team Introduction – Slides– Video
  • Ricardo Dias, CAMBADA, University of Aveiro, New Agent Architecture and Behaviours – Slides– Video 1 – Video 2
  • Herman Bruyninckx, KU Leuven and Eindhoven University of Technology, Robot-Robot Communication – Slides – Video

Participants, Schedule and Briefing

In total 32 people will join the workshop. They represent six teams: Tech United Eindhoven (TU Eindhoven), Carpe Noctem (Univ. of Kassel), CAMBADA (Univ. of Aveiro), VDL Robot Sports (Industry Team), ASML Falcons (Industry Team) and NuBot (National Univ. of Defense Tech, China).

Schedule here. Instructions for practical session here.

Call for participation

Rule changes limiting continuous dribbling distance, and introducing mandatory passing have dramatically changed RoboCup MSL in the past couple of years. These step-changes are happening at a time where several new teams are starting up. Therefore MSL is a league in transition, which means knowledge exchange among teams is extra important.

To facilitate this, multiple initiatives have been taken by the community. A number of robot-designs are released under an open hardware license, and a low-cost robot platform has been developed. On top of this, a three-day workshop gets organized yearly.

This year (2014) the workshop will take place in Eindhoven, on November 10th, 11th and 12th. Building on earlier workshops in Stuttgart and last year at the University of Kassel, the goal of the workshop is to share knowledge among existing and startup teams, and to discuss future directions of the league.

The program contains a mini-symposium with presentations of different teams (Monday), a social event for which we will visit the GLOW festival (Monday evening), a hands-on part where participants work with software of other teams (Tuesday) and a discussion on the roadmap and on rule changes for the upcoming year (Wednesday).

Established MSL teams are invited, but we would also like to invite teams starting up, people considering to participate in MSL in the future or RoboCuppers who see possibilities to apply MSL technology to their own league or vice versa. Although traditionally mainly the European teams are participating, we would like to emphasize the workshop is also open for teams from outside Europe.

The workshop will be organized by Robin Soetens, Lotte de Koning and René van de Molengraft of Eindhoven University of Technology. In case you’re interested in participating, please contact robinsoetens – at – gmail.com.