SATURDAY (Day 1)
CRC at Georgia Tech’s campus.
The main competition venue was at the CRC
(Campus Recreation Center) at Georgia Tech, and
today we were able to enter the soccer field for
the first time. Surprisingly, the actual soccer field
carpet texture was drastically different from what
we had been using for testing, thus the dynamic
walking gait algorithms we had developed were
not able to handle it in a stable manner. Also, the
lighting condition was so different from what
we had been using, our IEEE1394 cameras were
having a difficult time seeing the field and the
ball. We stayed at the CRC until it closed at 10 PM,
trying to adjust things to make them work right.
It looked like there was still lots of work to do to
perfect DARwIn’s soccer playing skills. Though
DARwIn performed well in our lab in a controlled
environment, we realized the importance of
making the system robust enough to handle different environments.
MONDAY (Day 3)
SUNDAY (Day 2)
Today was the last practice
day before the actual competition tomorrow. Dr. Hong has
been getting a lot of email and
phone calls from the many fans
from VT and other universities
cheering for us. It looks like we
have a big following after our
cult status You Tube video on the
Internet ( www.youtube.com/
watch?v=klBjbDVftJw) and the
articles in SERVO and July’s issue DARwIn had too much to drink ...
of Popular Science magazine.
Though we have tweaked most of the system to work well, we discovered that
one of the computers (the one in DARwIn 2B) suddenly stopped working! This
presented a big problem as our first competition was the next day at 2 PM. It
was going to be another long night ahead. Dr. Hong took us to a nice
restaurant for a good meal since we had been living on fast food to save time
for working. (He was more worried about our health than that of the robots.)
We took DARwIn 1 to the
restaurant with us and he
was quite popular there.
After a quick nap, we went
back to the dorm and took
over the lounge area to set
up our workshop and testing
field. Dr. Hong stayed up all
night with us, helping out on
the last minute troubleshooting. Hopefully, we had fixed
everything so DARwIn could
play a good game against the
other robots the next day.
Today we met many of the other
robots and teams. We were the only
US team in the humanoid division, and
there were many teams from Japan
and Germany, in particular. Seeing all
the other robots was quite a humbling
experience as they were all very impressive. Some of the robots — especially
those from Technische Universitaet
Darmstadt — looked like they had an
actual personality. Their agility,
autonomous behaviors, intelligence,
and even the soccer playing skills were
very impressive. It looked like it would
be quite a challenge for us to bring
home the trophy, but we were ready to
try our best as first time rookies.
Taking a break after
a very long day of
testing and debugging.
DARwIn 1 is having a
good time with us.
SERVO 09.2007 39