RoboTeam Twente has taken the first hurdle towards success in the RoboCup 2019, the annual international robotics competition. The team has successfully passed the qualification for the tournament, which will be held in Sydney, Australia, in July.
RoboTeam Twente, founded in 2016, is a multi-disciplinary student team at the University of Twente and celebrates its third consecutive participation in the RoboCup. The RoboCup is an international competition which aims to promote research in the field of robotics and artificial intelligence by offering a publicly appealing challenge. Among many different events organized by RoboCup, RoboTeam Twente will compete in the small-size league of the robot soccer division.
Due to its competitive nature, not every team gets a chance to participate in the RoboCup. Participants need to pass a qualification round by presenting a paper describing the design of their robots and showcase innovation in the technology they develop. To qualify, the team cannot simply fix errors and shortcomings of the existing robots, but must innovate and improve the robots and their behaviour significantly. Old designs have to be studied and points of improvement need to be identified, resulting in smarter artificial intelligence that handles the strategy for the games and better robot control by redesigning ball kicking and chipping mechanisms and integrating a sophisticated ball sensor to increase precision.
By working on the designs every year, students are able to not only gain valuable experience for themselves, but also demonstrate their skills and knowledge that they acquired during their studies at the University of Twente. Presenting revolutionary ideas and achieving podium places benefits the reputation of the team, their university, and of course their home country. Besides trying to achieve podium places, RTT also has the responsibility as the only team representing Netherlands in the RoboCup. Most successful competitors in the RoboCup are mainly from Germany, China, and Japan with more than 10 years of experience. There have been other Dutch teams competing in the past, but their success was limited. RoboTeam Twente has been steadily improving their results by going from 14th among 20 teams in the first ever year of their existence to 7th out of 20 in the second year. We expect to continue this trend and bring sweet victory and the title of champions back to Netherlands.
Currently, RTT is implementing and testing their proposed design to be ready in time for the RoboCup 2019 that will take place in Sydney, Australia during the first week of July.