A diverse group of soccer playing robots — including several Carnegie Mellon University teams — demonstrated crowd-pleasing capabilities at the International RoboCup Federation's 2008 U.S. Open competition.
Co-organized and co-chaired by Carnegie Mellon Computer Science Professor Manuela Veloso, the event featured soccer-playing doglike AIBOs; fast-moving robots that look like small square boxes; microscopic nanobots; and demonstrations of humanoids.
CMDragons'08, the School of Computer Science's boxy robot soccer team, took first place in its category at the event. The school's AIBO team, called CMDash'08, placed third among the five teams competing in its category.
A joint team representing Carnegie Mellon and the Georgia Institute of Technology was one of three participating in the exhibition of humanoid robot teams. Veloso said one of the goals of the joint humanoid team is to enable robot players that are developed by two different groups to work together.
The micro-sized "Magic & Voodoo" team from Carnegie Mellon's Mechanical Engineering Department participated in a nanobot demonstration during the competition. These minute bots are operated by remote control under an optical microscope, moving in response to changing magnetic fields or electrical signals transmitted around the playing area.
In addition to Carnegie Mellon and Georgia Tech, this year's event — held at Carnegie Science Center in late May — attracted teams from Harvard/MIT, Bowdoin College, the University of Texas at Austin, Brooklyn College, Brown University and the U.S. Naval Academy.
The U.S. Open is part of the International RoboCup Federation's larger competition, with a goal to expand the field of artificial intelligence and robotics by developing a team of robot soccer players that can beat the human world champions by 2050.
The competition has been held annually in countries around the world since 1997. This year's international RoboCup symposium and competitions will take place in Suzhou, China, July 14-20.