Robot football team from Technical University of Crete
The “Kouretes”, the Technical University of Crete robot football team, made its first, promising appearance at the international RoboCup German Open. The name “Kouretes” is derived from the heroes of Cretan mythology who guarded the newborn Zeus in the Idaean Cave.
“We have been working flat out with the robots for the past six months and this was a unique experience. We came 7th out of 10 teams from other European, Asian and American Universities, which isn’t bad for the first time,” said George Pierris, a fourth-year student.
Sony’s AIBO robots look like small dogs and move using a headcam and a set of sensors. Their movements, speed and operation are determined by their programming. The student teams try to programme them so that the robots can recognise the ball, other players and the goalposts, and move as attackers and defenders. Not an easy job for the team “coach”, Assistant Professor Michalis Lagoudakis, and his seven students.
Taking part in the tournament gave the “Kouretes” the chance to identify their weaknesses and correct them in order to do better next time. “We saw that there were some problems with movement, and we were slow compared to the other teams. These are the weaknesses we identified and we’ll see how to correct them,” said Prof. Lagoudakis. The team is already in training for the next RoboCup, to be held in Atlanta in a few months’ time.