Robot football - a global sport
The Grand Duchy is European robot football champion. From 5 to 7 May 2017, the Grand Duchy's Luxembourg United team competed at the RoboCup German Open in Magdeburg (Germany); winning the Challenge Shield qualifies the team to take part in the world cup competition in Japan.
Since 1997, the RoboCup has brought together teams of robots from all over the world; the aim is to create a team of robots capable of taking on the world champion human team by 2050.
It's with this in mind that hundreds of university teams compete each year to find out which is the best robot with the best programming. In the absence of a European tournament, the German Open is considered an unofficial European championship and accepts the participation of teams from other European countries, not only Germany.
Luxembourg United leads the field in its category
Kevin and Tweety - the names of the two robots in the Luxembourg United team - met their counterparts on a football pitch measuring 9 metres by 6 - it's the first time a team from the Grand Duchy has taken part in an event of this kind. Standing 58 cm tall, NAO is a humanoid robot designed by the company Aldebaran Robotics, the standard platform for RoboCupSoccer, with a number of developers working on programs to put life into the robots.
In the Grand Duchy, the team led by Dr Patrice Claire of the Social Robotics Lab (SRL) at the University of Luxembourg's SnT (Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust) has taken up the challenge of developing a NAO program and competing with teams from all over Europe.
Luxembourg United is a relative newcomer to the RoboCup scene. The team was only constituted in March 2016, when the Social Robotics Laboratory began working on the project. So the team had barely a year to develop and test the robots before taking part in the tournament!
A total of 9 teams competed - 6 German, 1 Swiss, 1 Italian and 1 from the Grand Duchy - and Luxembourg United emerged as the winner. The Grand Duchy's team won 5 of its 7 matches, including the final against Italy's SPQR team.
Luxembourg United's easy win qualifies the team for the world cup competition, to be held in Nagoya (Japan) from 24 July to 1 August 2017.(article written by the editorial team of the portal luxembourg.lu)