Aside

Please note: While we try to always keep the English blog up-to date, there might be some delay regarding when a German blog post gets translated. Also, articles prior to RoboCup 2022 do not have English translations. To see those articles in German, please switch to the German blog.

RoboCup 2024: Knock-out Phase: RoboDragons vs. ER-Force

Our next knockout phase game is against the Japanese team RoboDragons. Kickoff is currently scheduled for 3:00 PM. However, the previous match between RobôCIn and Immortals seems to be delayed. The game will likely start around 3:15 PM. The game setup is still ongoing. We are playing in blue.

First Half

5:00 Kickoff for RoboDragons and the ball is out of bounds. We are currently struggling with ball placement, narrowly succeeded. Duel in RoboDragons’ half. Another close ball placement. RoboDragons’ strategy has obviously crashed but it’s currently ball placement, so they can restart their strategy now in a timeout. We use this timeout to change a parameter, hoping to reduce collisions. RoboDragons take a long time to restart their strategy. We continue. Our number 4 obviously has a problem. We make a bot substitution. Ball placement on the midfield line for us.

4:00 We keep shooting towards the goal but the reception isn’t quite right yet. Corner kick. Chip over the defense and goal for us. The score is 1:0 for us. But some of our bots are causing problems.

3:30 Constant ball placements and we shoot directly at Dragons’ bots. Unfortunately, little progress in the game in this situation. Many ball placements, unfortunately, only moderately successful on both sides.

2:30 Intense duel in front of our penalty area. Luckily, we can save it. But we did not cover ourselves in glory. We need to take out two robots.

1:30 Ball placement. It is noticeable that the high temperature in the hall is not good for the robots, and we detect more overheating, so we currently have very few robots on the field. Right now, we have only 8 robots. Wrong decision by the referee. Dragons rightly contest a referee’s decision, the foul is overturned. We have more robots on the field again. Hopefully, problems won’t arise again so quickly. RoboDragons also occasionally commit double touch. Ball placement for us. This time we make it. Corner kick for Dragons. Fast and exciting game on both sides. Double touch on both sides. Corner kick for Dragons. Card spam from the autoref. The red card for Dragons should probably be overturned soon. Discussions at the referee’s table. The red card was justified.

Halftime. The second half begins with 8 vs. 10 robots in our favor.

Second Half:

5:00 RoboDragons partially switched to white shells, but the pattern color remains the same. We stumble in ball placement but still manage to make it. RoboDragons’ strategy crashes again. This time we take the chance and convert the shot, 2:0 for us.

4:30 Some unclear situations on the field. We take a short timeout to fix a few things. Corner kick for Dragons and it looked for a moment like they had no robot in the goal. Lots of hacking in front of our penalty area, but unfortunately, no real progress in the last few minutes.

4:00 We duel across the field but have to pass the ball into empty space just before the goal, as no situation arises. Dragons push us into their penalty area. The referee overturns the foul call again.

3:00 We make some dumb moves in front of our penalty area, but luckily nothing happens. Fortunately, we manage to commit far fewer collisions in this game.

2:00 RoboDragons are once again not moving, but the ball placement and the free kick could go to us. However, it looks like we won’t make the ball placement. What is our keeper doing there? That was almost an own goal. Luckily, it went well and the ball rolled out of bounds. Our timeout is not properly accepted. The autorefs do not see an out, but our referees are luckily on the ball. It is noticeable that the vision at the tournament is not as good this time. Unfortunately, the current game is dragging a bit.

1:00 One of our robots loses a duel because it doesn’t shoot properly. We take it out at the next opportunity. RoboDragons commit many fouls and have to take out another robot. The ball rolls over the field a few more times and time is up. We win this game 2:0 and will play next tonight at 6:30 PM against RobôCIn.

RoboCup 2024: Knock-out Phase: TIGERs vs. ER-Force

At 11:30 AM, we will play our first knockout phase game against TIGERs Mannheim. TIGERs won the RoboCup last year and have dominated all their games in this tournament so far. We expect a strong and challenging opponent. TIGERs play with a blue pattern color and their white shells. We play as the yellow team and have decided to remove the shell inlays due to heat issues. Therefore, our shells are translucent. RoboTeam Twente is streaming the game again with commentary. A special highlight in this game will be our robot handling. Dino from our mechanics team will be managing this in her dinosaur costume.

Both teams are getting ready. We currently have 13 functional robots. Hopefully, they will last as long as possible.

First Half:

5:00 Kickoff for TIGERs and we are competing well across the field, even managing to push the ball into TIGERs’ half.

4:30 Ball placement in TIGERs’ corner, but somehow it was assigned to TIGERs. Strongly parried by our defense and keeper. So far, we are seeing a balanced match, only slightly dominated by TIGERs. Both teams can place the balls very well, but unfortunately, we still stumble over some of our kicks. That’s unfortunate.

3:30 Many dangerous corners from TIGERs in front of our goal. But so far, we are holding up very well.

3:00 All our robots are still running. Shot on goal for TIGERs and converted. The score is 0:1. We have kickoff, stumble with the ball. Now we have to take a robot off, which is Dino’s entry. But TIGERs also commit a foul, so we are now playing 10 robots against 10. We need to free one of our robots in a timeout. So far, the game looks very good, considering how strongly TIGERs have dominated other opponents.

2:00 Another goal for TIGERs, 0:2. Their passing game is simply outstanding, allowing them to get past our defense.

1:00 Some crashes on our side, as our robots are still not driving precisely despite the new regulation. Therefore, we get another yellow card. TIGERs have a kickoff in our half, and we have to take another robot off beforehand. Unfortunately, our regulation still swings too much, and we keep collecting yellow cards, so we now have to play 10 robots against 11 permanently with a red card. It’s a shame, but the regulation has only been in place for a few games, and there are still some timing issues. Corner for TIGERs.

Nice chip from us. We are competing very well and even manage to take the ball from TIGERs a few times. End of the first half. During the halftime break, we need to cool down our robots again.

Second Half:

5:00 Kickoff for us, but unfortunately, we stumble again. Immensely good passing game for TIGERs across the field. Another goal for TIGERs, making it 0:3. Despite everything, we keep fighting bravely and defending as best as we can.

4:00 We produce another collision, but luckily our previous yellow card had already expired, and we didn’t get another red card.

3:30 The numerical disadvantage is very noticeable. TIGERs dominate and score another goal, making it 0:5.

3:00 Another goal for TIGERs. Our robots were clearly in the wrong position. Unfortunately, we keep missing our kicks and giving them away to TIGERs. Occasionally, our robots are also too fast, so we collect card after card. The score is 0:7.

2:00 Another corner for TIGERs. With our significant numerical disadvantage, the game is increasingly turning in favor of TIGERs. The score is 0:8. The next goal will end the game.

1:00 We have a kickoff in our half and bring the ball directly to TIGERs, where they immediately dominate again. They dribble freely and score another goal, 0:9. Can we hold on for the last few seconds of the game? Yes, we can. We are not defeated 0:10 by TIGERs. Considering TIGERs’ dominance and our significant numerical disadvantage, this is an acceptable result. TIGERs show off their victory moves, but our robots interfere a bit, causing some laughs among the spectators and team members.

We will play next at 3:00 PM against RoboDragons.

RoboCup 2024: Second Group Matchday

Heat Issues

Since none of our matches lasted longer than an hour, it can be said with certainty that this RoboCup is one of the smoothest in a long time. We survived the first two matches of the day well against LUHBots and KIKS, but the heat issues became more severe. Despite a lot of code for error detection and handling, as well as constant tweaking of the regulation, a drastic decision had to be made. As Dino so nicely put it: “We fight fire with saws.” The solution to the heat problem was to saw off unnecessary parts from all module connector boards. Subsequently, the boards were sanded to avoid sharp edges. Meanwhile, heatsinks had to be attached to all motor boards, and the shells were perforated with holes. This several-hour job, which involved almost the entire team, paid off. In the match against ZJUNlict, we did not have a single heat-related failure, and we performed better than any other participant in Group A against them.

Group Matches

After playing our first group match against RobôCIn yesterday, we had three more group matches today. We started the day with a balanced match against KIKS, which ended 1:1 due to an unfortunate last-second goal. We won our match against LUHBots at noon clearly with 2:0. The last match of the group phase was our match against ZJU, where we defended strongly but ultimately lost 0:1 to this really good team. The results of the group stage can be seen below.

Standings

Position Group A Group B
1 ZJUNlict TIGERs
2 ER-Force Immortals
3 RobôCIn RoboDragons
4 KIKS Robo Team Twente
5 LUHBots

Outlook

By finishing second in our group, we qualified for the knockout phase. Our next match is tomorrow at 11:30 against TIGERs Mannheim. Since we start in the upper bracket of our double elimination tournament format, we still have at least one more game even if we lose this match, allowing us to stay in the tournament.

RoboCup 2024: Group Phase: ER-Force vs. ZJUNlict

At 20:00, our last group match against the Chinese team ZJU, the strongest opponent in our group stage, begins. We are playing as the blue team with our white shells. ZJU is therefore yellow. Since they did not participate in the Black – White Shell Challenge, they can only play with black shells. They are already practicing their excellent dribbler. The game can be watched live again on RoboTeam Twente.

First Half:

5:00 – Kickoff for us, but ZJU immediately dominates the game.

4:30 – We defend many shots on our goal and take out a robot that stopped just before ZJU’s goal. Some confusion with placing robots. Our number 4 wants to substitute itself. One of our robots has lost a high-kick flap, and removing it due to parts is unfortunately another foul for us. We are only allowed to use 6 robots now.

4:00 – ZJU coldly dribbles past our defense and converts the chance. 0:1 for ZJU. Kickoff for us. Unfortunately, we fumble the ball reception. Ball placement for us, but we don’t shoot properly, and the chance goes to ZJU. Obviously, that was faulty because the shooting off was not decisive enough for a foul. So we can continue. When ZJU tries to place the next ball, their strategy crashes. Unfortunately, they can take a timeout immediately, and we can’t exploit this like other teams.

3:30 – Our keeper defends well, and the defense chips the ball out. Obviously, the auto-ref also has problems because its commands are coming in very late.

3:00 – Many duels just before our penalty area. Consequently, many dangerous situations, but all are well parried by our keeper and defense.

2:00 – Ball placement again. Our robot is not working properly, and it takes a bit longer. We lose this ball placement to ZJU.

1:30 – Our keeper works really well and prevents many goals. Nevertheless, we are strongly dominated by ZJU.

0:30 – Ball placement again. Our robots are driving erratically, and we take one out. Corner for ZJU, but well saved by us. The ball is out, and the half ends.

Halftime:

We cool the robots because they still have overheating problems. Laughs and photos from TIGERs.

Second Half:

5:00 – Kickoff for us. We shoot dangerously near ZJU’s goal several times. Once, we even manage to take the ball away from ZJU. We are definitely a serious opponent for ZJU, even though they continue to dominate us overall. This is mainly due to their precise passes and strong dribbling. We suspect that the auto-refs do not penalize too high kicks. Therefore, there is a brief pause for the referees.

4:00 – Some fouls on both sides. We are playing 7 vs. 7. Dangerous shot off the post by ZJU, but our keeper and defense hold very well. The ball is out, but both teams can’t really see it as it is in an awkward spot. Due to vision problems, there is a discussion and an attempt to fix the game state. The game continues.

3:00 – A lot is happening on the field, including many dangerous situations, but luckily we keep holding on.

2:00 – Passing plays across the entire field. We miss the ball placement, and ZJU takes over. First, however, there is a timeout for ZJU.

1:30 – Our strategy crashes in a very dangerous situation with the ball very close to our goal. Compared to ZJU, it restarts immediately, and we save the situation.

1:00 – Corner for ZJU. We switch to main aggressive. Maybe we can still score a goal. We hesitate very long in ball placement but just manage it. Crazy robot substitutions. The shot from ZJU on our goal is not a hit because it happened in a foul. A few last passes, and the ball is finally out. End.

0:1 against ZJU is a defeat, but we performed extremely well. A deserved result for both sides.

RoboCup 2024: Group Phase: ER-Force vs. luhbots

Our second group match today is against LUHBots from Hannover. LUHBots is now the third German team in the SSL and has been participating in RoboCup since last year. Based on our observations and past games, we expect a balanced and exciting match. Kickoff is at 12:00. The Twente livestream will again show this game with live commentary.

We are playing 8 vs. 8 robots. ER-Force is playing with white shells and yellow pattern color. LUHBots is the blue team and wears black shells.

First Half:

5:00 – Kickoff for us, but something is not right as not all of our robots are moving. We take a timeout. Luckily, nothing happened and no goal was scored during this time.

4:30 – LUHBots places the ball in their half. We get the ball taken away just before LUHBots’ goal. Too bad, that could have been a good situation.

4:00 – Finally, more of our robots are on the field again. Ball placement in the corner next to LUHBots’ goal. Corner kick. Another new robot for us. Obviously, there were flash problems at the beginning. Shot on goal, but unfortunately just missed.

3:30 – Corner for us. That could have been a dangerous situation. Another attempt, and goal! 1:0 for us. Kickoff for LUHBots. Our number 0 has problems. Duel in our half. We commit a foul, and LUHBots gets a free kick. Luckily, our robots are dueling well.

3:00 – Ball placement, and LUHBots is in our half again. Battle in front of LUHBots’ goal. Good passing game, but unfortunately not converted, and we shoot out. Battle in the midfield, and we bring the ball back in front of LUHBots’ goal. The keeper from LUHBots has the ball.

1:30 – Very fast and fluid game. Passes across the field. We see two teams on par, playing very well together. Both LUHBots and we fail at ball placement, and there is no progress.

1:00 – Once again, we couldn’t manage to take the ball just before the goal, missing another good chance.

0:30 – Our number 7 is having problems again. This robot wants to get to the ball, and so not much is happening.

Halftime: We give our robots a breather. The game will resume in a few minutes. Nice to see how quickly such fluid games pass by.

Second Half:

5:00 – Kickoff for LUHBots. The ball is immediately pushed in front of LUHBots’ goal. And ball placement at the midfield. Duel at the midfield.

4:00 – Shot on goal by LUHBots, but unfortunately missed. We place the ball in the corner. Obviously a wrong decision by the auto-ref, as this goal kick should have gone to LUHBots. Passing game. The game is paused, we don’t know exactly why. Probably because of one of our robots on the edge. Referee and robot handler are discussing. The situation is obviously not quite clear. It is about when a robot can be taken off the field.

3:30 – The game continues at the midfield.

3:00 – Strong passing game, but unfortunately, we don’t approach precisely and miss this and the next chance for a shot on goal. Our number 12 wants to be replaced but drives to the wrong side, and our robot handler has to sprint around the field. Unfortunately, spectators are in the way.

2:30 – We are surprisingly often driving away from the ball, and due to heat problems, we are driving increasingly worse.

1:30 – The ball is back in play, and we bring it to the opponent’s half.

1:00 – Shot on goal, but well saved by LUHBots’ keeper. Ball placement by LUHBots. One of LUHBots’ robots is too close to the field and commits a foul. They take a timeout 37 seconds before the end. The game resumes.

0:30 – Nice play in front of LUHBots’ penalty area. Great passing game by our robots and immediately converted. 2:0. Kickoff for LUHBots. The ball is immediately dangerous in front of our goal again, but our defense holds fortunately. LUHBots commits a foul. We shoot the ball out, and the game is over.

That was an entertaining and nice game.