Qualification Decisions for the International SPL 2019

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Qualified Teams for the 2019 SPL Team Competition in Sydney:

Aztlan (Mexico), B-Human (Germany), Bembelbots (Germany), Berlin United (Germany), Camellia Dragons (Japan), Dutch Nao Team (The Netherlands), HULKs (Germany), MiPal (Australia / Spain), Nao Devils (Germany), Nao-Team HTWK (Germany), Naova (Canada), NomadZ (Switzerland), NTU RoboPAL (Taiwan), RoboEireann (Ireland), rUNSWift (Australia), SABANA Herons (Colombia), SPQR (Italy), Starkit (Russia), Team-NUST (Pakistan), TJArk (China), UPennalizers (USA), UT Austin Villa (USA)

Waitlisted Teams for the 2019 SPL Team Competition in Sydney:

1st alternate: UnBeatables (Brazil) — qualified as of March 21
2nd alternate: Naova (Canada) — conditionally qualified as of March 25

Qualified But Withdrew from 2019 SPL Team Competition in Sydney:

Rinobot (Brazil), UChile (Chile), UnBeatables (Brazil), WrightOcean (China)

Regional Open Qualified Teams for 2019:

IRUF (Japan)

International SPL 2019 Competitors:


Note: The following listing is a work in progress, and should not be considered to be an extensive list of all qualified 2019 SPL teams. Team information is being posted as it is received from teams.



B-Human
Germany

Team Contact:
Thomas Röfer, Tim Laue

Institutes:
DFKI Bremen, Cyber-Physical Systems
University of Bremen, Department of Computer Science

Team Profile: B-Human consists of students from the University of Bremen in their advanced study period and researchers from both the University Bremen and the DFKI Bremen. In the past, members of the B-Human team participated in different RoboCup leagues. B-Human won the RoboCup World Championships 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2016, and 2017. We also won the RoboCup German Open 2009-2017, the European Open in 2016, the RoboCup Technical Challenges in 2009, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, and 2018, the Drop-in Player competitions at the RoboCup German Open 2014 and 2015 and at the RoboCup 2014 and 2016, and all Mixed Team Competitions of the league. In addition, B-Human team members earned the Best Paper Award at the RoboCup Symposiums 2010 and 2013. In 2019, we intend to participate again in the RoboCup German Open and in the RoboCup World Championship.
Research Topics: Probabilistic state estimation, real-time computer vision, machine learning, robot simulation, humanoid walking
Team Report: 2018 Team Report and Code Release


Bembelbots
Germany

Team Contact:
Jens-Michael Siegl

Institutes:
Goethe University Frankfurt am Main, Institute for Computer Science

Team Profile: The RoboCup team Bembelbots was founded in 2009 at the Goethe University Frankfurt (Main), Germany, as a group fully organized by students. As there is no robotics group at the university, the team shall help students to increase their experience in robotics, as well as programming skills in addition to the theoretical orientation of the computer science degree program of the university. For that reason, we started developing our own framework from scratch.
Team Bembelbots has regularly competed in the RoboCup German Open since 2010 as well as the RoboCup Worldcups in 2012, 2013 & 2016-2019.
Research Topics: Machine Learning, Localization, Behavior Modeling, Software architecture
Team Report: N/A


Berlin United – Nao Team Humboldt (BU-NaoTH)
Germany

Team Contact:
Heinrich Mellmann,
Benjamin Schlotter

Institutes:
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Adaptive Systems Group

Team Profile: “Berlin United” (former Nao Team Humboldt (NaoTH)) is part of the Adaptive Systems group at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.

Our group has been involved in RoboCup since 1998 with various teams in different leagues. The team Berlin United has been established in 2007.
At the current state it consists of about 12 students of Bachelor, Master/Diploma, and PhD levels as well as several active alumni. Berlin United participated yearly at the RoboCup competitions since the first SPL competition in 2008 in Suzhou. At the RoboCup 2018 the team reached the Quarterfinals in the Champions Cup and the second place in the Mixed Team Competition as part of the Mixed Team DoBerMan together with Nao Devils Dortmund.

Besides the direct participation at the RoboCup competitions Berlin United is actively involved in teaching at the university, public engagement and fostering of the RoboCup community.
The codebase is fully original and is being progressively developed over the years. The source code is being made open source on an annual basis and can be found at https://github.com/BerlinUnited/NaoTH.

Our research interests span a wide spectrum including software architecture and tools, basic motion control, visual spatial perception, proprioception, state estimation and modeling, high level planning and team coordination. Two of our most recent projects focused on simulation based decision making, and an infrastructure for gathering and evaluation of the data from the RoboCup games on a large scale: http://robocup.tools. The latter project aims to foster data driven research within RoboCup and was supported by a RCF League Development grant in 2017 and 2018.

Research Topics: Simulation Based Decision Making, Spatial Perception and State Estimation, Attention Control, Dynamic Motion Control, Team Coordination, Machine Learning and Data Driven Development
Team Report: Team Report 2018


Camellia Dragons
Japan

Team Contact:
Kazuho Takahashi ,
Kunikazu Kobayashi

Institutes:
Aichi Prefectural University

Team Profile: Camellia Dragons was organized in October, 2013 at Aichi Prefectural University (APU), Japan. The team has been participated in the Standard Platform League (SPL) competition for RoboCup Japan Open since 2014. The results were first place in 2014, 2015 and 2018, and second place in 2016 and 2017. The team participated in the SPL drop-in player competition and the SPL technical challenges in RoboCup 2015 and the SPL main competition in RoboCup 2016, 2017 and 2018.
Research Topics: Cooperative behavior, Real-time object recognition, Dynamic role assignment, Self-localization.
Team Report: 2017 Code Release and Team Report


Dutch Nao Team
The Netherlands

Team Contact:
Caitlin Lagrand, Pieter Kronemeijer

Institutes:
Universiteit van Amsterdam, Faculty of Science, Informatics Institute

Team Profile: The Dutch Nao Team consists of bachelor students, master students and alumni, supported by a senior staff-member. The team debuted at the German Open 2010 and made its breakthrough by qualifying for RoboCup Istanbul in 2011. In 2017, the team started its own new framework where each module represents one algorithm handling a task in the football playing robot.
Research Topics: Computer vision, behaviour control, probabilistic robotics, machine learning
Team Report: 2019 Team Qualification


HULKs
Germany

Team Contact:
Patrick Göttsch

Institutes:
Technical University of Hamburg

Team Profile: HULKs is student association of graduate and undergraduate students established in 2013 working in their leisure time or in thesis works on RoboCup SPL topics. We developed an own NAO framework. Team members participated at RoboCup from 2014 to 2018, IranOpen 2017, 2018, GermanOpens in 2014, 2015 and 2017, 2018 and EuropeanOpen in 2016. For 2015, 2017, 2018 and 2019 we were prequalifed for the RoboCup and last year we became fourth at RoboCup. We organize the RoHOW for the last five years.
Research Topics: Fast and reliable software frameworks, biped walking, machine learning, computer vision, path planning
Team Report: 2018 Team Research Report


MiPal
Australia Spain

Team Contact:
Vladimir Estivill-Castro

Institutes:
Griffith University
Universitat Pompeu Fabra

Team Profile: We build behaviours using a Behaviour Based-Control (NNC) architecture. Our behaviours are encoded as logic-labelled finite state machines (LLFSMs). The Llfsm can be considered as Augmented Timed Finite-State Machines similar to the original LISP-based behaviours of the subsumption architecture and the Toto robot. Our advances are that LLFSMs are sequentially executed by a pre-defined schedule avoiding issues of timing and controlled concurrency (as opposed to the event-driven nature of executable UML state-charts). We can compile them for simple-C, C++ and swift (and interpret them for LISP and Haskell). We also produce Kripke models for their formal verification with NuSMV. We demonstrate practical quality of BBCcontinuous integration of behaviours by using a headless simulator. We also work on algorithms for computer vision, adapting deep-learning methods to the scene recognition of all the relevant objects in a soccer match and also enabling their fast execution in the reduced CPU power on boards of roots to achieve high frame-rates.  Lately, we have mixed the emerging technologies of virtual reality (and headset devices and controllers) to explore tele-existence. In particular, we have investigated the reactions of adults and children to being immersed in the body of a Nao and engage on a soccer competition with autonomous Naos under conditions similar to the RoboCup Standard Platform League.
Research Topics: Software Engineering For Robotics / Computer Vision / Merging Task Planning and Motion Planning / Agents and Reasoning
Team Report: Team Description Paper


Nao Devils
Germany

Team Contact:
Ingmar Schwarz

Institutes:
TU Dortmund University

Team Profile: The team consists of researchers and students of TU Dortmund University. We participate in RoboCup competitions since 2002 with several different teams: Microsoft Hellhounds and as part of the German Team (4-Legged-League), DoHBots (Humanoid League), and BreDoBrothers (together with University Bremen) and now as Nao Devils in the Standard Platform League.
Research Topics: biped walking, computer vision, stochastic filtering, artificial intelligence
Team Report: 2018 Team Report


Nao-Team HTWK
Germany

Team Contact:
Rico Tilgner

Institutes:
Faculty of Computer Science, Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Leipzig University of Applied Sciences

Team Profile: Nao-Team HTWK is a RoboCup team that consists of graduate and undergraduate students of Leipzig University of Applied Sciences and was founded in 2009. The team participated in RoboCup 2009-2018 as well as the RoboCup German Open 2009-2018.
Research Topics: Evolutionary Algorithms, Biped Walking, Artificial Intelligence, Multi-Robot Coordination, Computer Vision, Localization
Team Report: 2018 Team Report


Naova ETS
Canada

Team Contact:
Ariane Beaudry-Betournay
Jonathan Fortin

Institutes:
École de Technologie Supérieur

Team Profile: Naova is a relatively young team, with one year experience in the standard platform league (SPL) division and in various other divisions in robotics, and we strive to develop our skills in the SPL division. Composed of 10 engineering students from École de Technologie Supérieure (ÉTS) – Montréal, Québec, Canada. The team consists of a pool of a diversified and talented group of engineering students with various background expertise whom all share the same passion for robotics and its applications. The scientific university club Naova pushes for its members to surpass themselves. By their active involvement in the clubs day-to-day activities , the members get a chance to prove themself which is an opportunity to show their engagement and expertise in a competitive environment. The international competition is a good opportunity for education, advancement and innovation of the members of the club.
Research Topics: Gate generation; deep learning; reinforcement learning; nonlinear control; vision.
Team Report: N/A


NomadZ
Switzerland

Team Contact:
Lucia Liu,
Matthias Bräm

Institutes:
Department of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, ETH Zurich
Automatic Control Laboratory (IfA)
Computer Vision Laboratory (CVL)

Team Profile: The NomadZ from ETH Zurich, Switzerland, participated for the first time in the RoboCup 2016 Team Competition. The team consists of five to ten graduate students from the Department of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering and the Department of Mechanical and Process Engineering and are supervised by four Ph.D. students. Our work is based on the B-Human code release 2013 and we have implemented modifications and additions in the area of perception, behavior and to a limited extent in motor control.
Research Topics: Automatic calibration, Deep Learning, Kicking, Optimal Game Strategy, Sensor Fusion
Team Report: N/A


NTU RoboPAL
Taiwan

Team Contact:
Chi-Shen (Daniel) Shih, (Team email)

Institutes:
Department of Computer Science and Information Engineering, National Taiwan University

Team Profile: The team consists of graduate and undergraduate students highly interested in solving real-world multi­robot research issues in terms of perception, behavior, and motion. Started from 2009, NTU
RoboPAL participated in RoboCup SPL and made it to the quarter-final in 2009 and won the third place in 2011.
Research Topics: Multi-robot localization and tracking, multi-robot cooperative perception, activity recognition, motion planning, multi-robot navigation, imitation learning
Team Report: 2015 Team Report
2019 Technical Report


RoboEireann
Ireland

Team Contact:
Rudi Villing,
John McDonald

Institutes:
Department of Electronic Engineering, Maynooth University
Department of Computer Science, Maynooth University

Team Profile: RoboEireann is Ireland’s only SPL team and comprises students and staff from the Maynooth University Electronic Engineering and Computer Science departments. In previous competitions we have attained 1st place in RoboCup 2008 as part of NUManoids (a joint effort with Newcastle University, Australia), 1st place in RoboCup 2011 Technical Challenge, 2nd place in the 2012 German Open, and the quarter-finals of RoboCup 2013.
Research Topics: Computer vision, robust localization, individual and multi-agent behaviour, closed-loop kinematics, software for autonomous systems.
Team Report: N/A


rUNSWift
Australia

Team Contact:
Claude Sammut, Kenji Brameld

Institutes:
The University of New South Wales / School of Computer Science and Engineering

Team Profile: rUNSWift is the University of New South Wales team in RoboCup SPL. The team is mostly made up of undergraduate students from Computer Science and Mechatronic Engineering, with some postgraduate and alumni members. Undergraduate students are often enrolled in an Honours thesis or Special Project course as part of their studies. At the international robocup SPL competition, the team won the championship in 2014 and 2015.
Research Topics: Computer Vision, Probabilitstic State Estimation, 3D Robot Simulation, Humanoid Dynamics, Multi-agent Behaviours, Forward/Inverse Kinematics
Team Report: 2018 Team Paper


SABANA Herons
Colombia

Team Contact:
Andres Ramirez,
Julian Echeverry

Institutes:
Universidad de La Sabana

Team Profile: The SABANA Herons team is the result of the collaboration between the mechanical engineering and informatics engineering departments of the Universidad de La Sabana. The team was born out of the students’ desire to carry out projects that bring together different fields of engineering in order to solve complex problems that can be compared with real-world systems, as well as their desire to form multidisciplinary groups that require teamwork. Our team was founded in 2017 and has been gaining experience in different robotics competitions, some in the national context and others internationally. In recent years, the university has been able to participate in various global competition events, such as Shell Eco Marathon Americas (Detroit 2017 and Sonoma 2018), All Japan Sumo Robot Tournament in Japan (December 2017) and RobotChallenge in Mexico (May 2018).
Research Topics: Distributed Optimization, Evolutionary Algorithms, Distributed Predictive Control, Game Theory.
Team Report: N/A


SPQR Team
Italy

Team Contact:
Prof. Daniele Nardi,
Vincenzo Suriani

Institutes:
Computer, Control and Management Engineering “Antonio Ruberti” at La Sapienza University of Rome

Team Profile: SPQR is the group of the Department of Computer, Control, and Management Engineering “Antonio Ruberti” at Sapienza University of Rome (Italy).
SPQR Team has been involved in RoboCup competitions since 1998 in different leagues: Middle-size 1998-2002, Four-legged 2000-2007, Real rescue robots 2003-2006, @Home in 2006, Virtual-rescue since 2006 and Standard Platform League (SPL) since 2008. SPQR team members published a total of 18 papers in RoboCup Symposia (including best paper awards in 2006 and 2015), in addition to many other publications about RoboCup-related activities on International Journals and Conferences in Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (including IROS RoboCup Best Paper Award in 2016).
Research Topics: Multi-robot coordination, Multi-object tracking, Robot  learning, Perception, Localization.
Team Report: 2018 Team Description Paper


Starkit
Russia

Team Contact:
Sergey Semendyaev

Institutes:
Moscow institute of physics and technology (MIPT)

Team Profile: Team Starkit was organized in Moscow institute of physics and technology (MIPT) on October 2018 by the financial support of the founder Azer Babaev on the base of Laboratory of wave processes and control systems of MIPT. Team consists mainly of students from different departments.
Research Topics: mechatronics, robot design
Team Report: N/A


Team-NUST
Pakistan

Team Contact:
Dr. Yasar Ayaz, Saifullah Asad

Institutes:
Robotics and Intelligent Systems Engineering (RISE) Lab, School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering (SMME), National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST),
Pakistan

Team Profile: Team-NUST was established formally in 2013 with the aim of carrying out research in the rapidly progressing field of humanoid robotics, artificial intelligence, machine vision, motion planning,
kinematics and navigation; with the motivation to participate in RoboCup Standard Platform League (SPL). We are working on robust and predictable kicking motion, multi objective behavior coordination,
motion planning, situational awareness based on efficient perception and robust probabilistic multiagent localization.
Research Topics: The team is working in RISE Research Center, part of SMME, NUST, with research in the field of cognitive robotics, machine intelligence focused on design, control and motion planning for robotics systems including mobile robots, humanoid robots, multi legged robots, intelligent bionics and robotic manipulators.
Team Report: Team Report 2019


TJArk
China

Team Contact:
Li Shu, Zeng Zhiying, Zhou Ziqiang, Tang Liang

Institutes:
College of Electronics and Information Engineering, Tongji University

Team Profile: TJArk was established in 2004 as a part of the Robots and Intelligent Systems Lab of Tongji University in China. The team consists of graduate and undergraduate students. All the members are from School of electronic and information engineering. The TJArk participated in the RoboCup SPL competition from 2006 through 2018. We entered the quarter finals in 2007, 2008, 2016 and the Champions Cup quarter finals in 2017. We finished in the third place in 2018. We are the SPL Champion in RoboCup China Open in latest six years.
Research Topics: Pattern Recognition, Machine Learning, Computer Vision, Motion Control of Biped Robot, Multi-agent Systems, Path Planning
Team Report: 2018 Team Report


UPennalizers
USA

Team Contact:
Abdullah Zaini,
Ryan Walsh,
Ellie Cohen,
Dr. Camillo J. Taylor

Institutes:
General Robotics, Automation, Sensing and Perception (GRASP) Laboratory
School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Pennsylvania

Team Profile: The University of Pennsylvania RoboCup team was one of the first participants in the original Sony Aibo league (renamed the Standard Platform 4-legged league in 2004), and participated in all the international competitions between 1999-2006. The team finished among at least the quarterfinalists in every one of those eight years. After a short hiatus in 2007-2008, we have reformulating the team with a new group of undergraduates and graduate students from various departments at the Engineering School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Research Topics: Real time lighting invariant perception, robust and natural locomotion, dynamic coordination in multi-agent robotics soccer team
Team Report: 2018 Team Report, 2016 Code Release


UT Austin Villa
USA

Team Contact:
Sid Desai, Katie Genter, Harsh Goyal, Josiah Hanna,
Sanmit Narvekar

Institutes:
Department of Computer Science, The University of Texas at Austin

Team Profile: Our team is from the University of Texas at Austin. We participated in the Aibo league starting in 2003 and started with the Naos in 2007. We also field a team in the RoboCup 3D simulation league. We won the 2009, 2010, 2012, 2016 and 2018 SPL US Opens. At the international RoboCup SPL competitions, we made the quarterfinals in 2009, 2015 and 2018, finished in 4th place in 2017, finished in 3rd place in 2010 and 2013, finished in 2nd place in 2016, and won the championship in 2012.
Research Topics: Self localization, vision algorithms, multi-agent task allocation, obstacle avoidance, reinforcement learning, ad hoc teamwork
Team Report: 2018 Code Release