BuGa 2023: ER-Force vs. RoboTeam Twente

And it’s already 1:00 PM, and our next game, ER-Force vs. RoboTeam Twente, is up. If we can deliver a comparable performance to the last game against TIGERs Mannheim, this should be an easy victory. But we’re curious, and as they say: Don’t count your chickens before they hatch!

Unfortunately, there’s no livestream for this game either, but it will be recorded, so a stream should be available later.

First Half

05:00 Just like the last game, it seems this game will also experience some delays. Both Twente and ER-Force seem to need more time, even though ER-Force already has all 6 robots on the field.
05:00 The game hasn’t properly started yet, but Twente has already taken a timeout. Meanwhile, it’s great to see 3 substitute robots relaxing on the bench next to our field, waiting for their chance to shine. Of course, we still hope it won’t come to that and our robots will hold up completely, just like in the last game.
05:00 And the 5-minute timeout granted to each team during regular game time is over. Since Twente apparently can’t get their robots moving, we use our timeout to give Twente a bit more time. So, timeout for ER-Force.
05:00 Now our 5 minutes are up too. The future of the game is definitely secured; in case Twente doesn’t get their robots running, we’ve already arranged to play against TIGERs Mannheim again. Nevertheless, we really hope that Twente can turn things around and get their robots going.
05:00 And the robots are moving! After about 2 more robots, the problem seems to be fundamentally resolved! Let’s hope that this will be the only incident for this game!
05:00 Kickoff by Twente. The Dutch team plays with purple-white robots and yellow jerseys, while ER-Force is in white attire and plays as the blue team.
04:40 A direct dangerous shot on Twente’s goal, after we got a free kick due to a Double Touch by Twente. Twente already has a foul as well, as they were too close to the ball during the kickoff.
03:18 Good attack by our robots, but the ball rolls just narrowly past the goal at a sharp angle.
03:14 But now! Another attack by us on Twente’s goal, and this time we score, increasing the lead to 1:0!
ER-Force 1 : 0 RoboTeam Twente
03:14 Minor issues at Twente. But that’s not all: Even the vision, meaning the camera system above the field, doesn’t seem to work perfectly, resulting in one of the robots in the Twente penalty area not being recognized. The game is temporarily halted, and Twente uses the time to get robots back on the field.
03:14 Small issue with the automatic PA system that comments on the game: After a shrill whistle, it continuously says “Free kick by Twente,” much to the amusement of all present. The automatic PA system was developed specifically for BuGa (Bundesgartenschau) to make it easier for the audience to understand the game.
03:14 Indeed, 6 new robots from our side are now on the field! The tournament has been running fantastically so far, aside from the unfortunate own goal! Meanwhile, outside: It’s pouring down. Thunderstorms from all sides. If you open the door, you’ll be blown back into the hall immediately.
03:14 Now, there’s even been a bug! No, not a software bug, but one that detached itself from the wall drawings and ventured onto the field! But we quickly took care of it, and the field is clear again. That’s probably why the hall is named “Pests and Beneficial Organisms.”
00:00 As the game is already quite exhausting, and Twente is facing many problems, it’s decided to move the game to the beginning of the second half. Therefore, we conclude the first half with a score of 1:0.
05:00 The clock time seems to be reset to 5 minutes. Why, I don’t know, but that’s the way it is. Twente has also gotten the kickoff but messed it up again.
04:11 At first, it seemed like our #8 couldn’t shoot. It kept nudging the ball instead of taking a shot. But that was apparently a feint, as it finally shot just in front of the goal and scored!
ER-Force 2 : 0 RoboTeam Twente
03:16 Another attack by us on the goal, but this time, we missed the target. No problem so far, as we are leading comfortably.
01:59 The game is somewhat meandering. Although we dominate strongly, a goal hasn’t been scored yet.
00:00 The halftime whistle is blown, after approximately 5 minutes have passed in total. As mentioned before: It’s not fully understood, but at least it was 5 minutes.

Second Half

05:00 The second half is kicked off by ER-Force.
04:23 As nothing happens, the game is eventually halted due to “Lack of Progress” (i.e., nothing noteworthy happens for 5 seconds), and a so-called Force Start is given, where both teams have an equal chance to reach the ball first. However, one of Twente’s robots starts spinning uncontrollably, so it must be taken off the field to protect the carpet.
03:50 Now we’re playing in power play mode, meaning with 6 robots against 5. However, this doesn’t make much of a difference, as Twente currently has only 4 robots on the field due to hardware limitations. Meanwhile, we continue to have 6 robots on the field without a single dropout.
02:36 A missed chance by us: We defend well in our half and pass the ball to one of our robots in the opponent’s half, but it prefers to wait for the opponent rather than aiming for the goal.
02:17 Now, a robot has to be replaced, but we currently have 4 substitute players.
01:57 And another goal for us! Now it’s 3:0.
ER-Force 3 : 0 RoboTeam Twente
01:02 Short break: Both AI referees say that a Twente robot touched the ball in their own penalty area. This is only allowed for the goalkeeper, making it a foul. However, since no one really saw anything, there’s currently a discussion.
00:55 It’s decided that the robot did touch the ball, so we get a penalty shot. Unfortunately, the robot we subbed in just a short while ago misses the shot right in front of the goal, so the score remains unchanged.
00:23 Flex first, then mess up: One by one, robots from our team take part in an endless series of dribbles, and the game seems perfect. We lead the Dutch team around by the nose. But instead of finally deciding to take a shot on goal, a dribble is messed up, and the ball goes to the opponent.
00:00 And thus, this game also comes to an end, fortunately with a score of 3:0 in our favor!

Test Tournament in Mannheim

And once again, our team is continuing at high speed this year! Hardly have our guests from Uruguay returned to their home country, and we’re already moving forward in with a test tournament hosted by the world champion TIGERs Mannheim and their Dual University Baden-Württemberg as part of the Bundesgartenshow 2023 in Mannheim.

And so it’s already 07:54 AM for us at Erlangen Central Station, as we’re off to Baden-Württemberg, this time only using regional trains and the Germany Ticket for cost reasons. Surprisingly, there are no train delays, and by 1:00 PM, we can enter the sacred halls of the BuGa.

As with all our other trips, the first order of business in Mannheim is: Arrive, unpack, and start. It doesn’t take half an hour before the entire space provided to us is occupied with various equipment, chargers, and soldering irons.

Soon, the field for testing should be available, allowing us to make our robots operational. But first, it’s about being patient and settling in: Welcome to BuGa 2023 Mannheim!

PS: A fun fact on the side: We’re accommodated on the BuGa premises in the hall for “Beneficial Organisms and Pests.” No, we’re not pests; instead, they’re referring to the wall’s artwork. There simply wasn’t space for us in other halls.

RoboCup: RoboTeam Twente vs. KIKS

The next game of the knockout phase takes place this morning at 09:00 AM. It’s between the Dutch team RoboTeam Twente and KIKS. You can find the link to the live ticker as always on Twente’s YouTube platform or at this link.

First Half

05:00 The game starts with a 15-minute delay.
04:29 Not much is happening in the game yet, the ball is moving back and forth. KIKS takes a timeout.
04:03 Attack on the Twente goal, Dutch defenders are moving too slowly. Eventually, a shot is taken by KIKS, but the goal doesn’t count because: Too fast! Lucky for Twente.
03:48 KIKS takes another timeout, but like the last timeout, it seems only software is being fixed; no one is running onto the field.
03:33 There’s a harmless shot on Twente’s goal, which comes to a stop in the out-of-bounds area. But where are the defenders? A more accurate shot could have been a goal!
03:05 Another shot on goal, but the Twente keeper can save it. The defense seems to be getting stronger.
02:00 Once again, excellent work by the Twente goalkeeper. He successfully stops a direct, fairly fast shot on goal. Interestingly, the ball ends exactly on the goal line, and there’s a discussion about whether it was a goal. The Organizing Committee gets involved too. Decision: No goal, the ball must fully cross the line, not just partially.
01:27 And well saved again by the Twente goalkeeper! But the defenders don’t seem very motivated; instead of closing the goal as quickly as possible, they prefer to move away!
01:11 Now the TIGERs computer referee goes wild and reports a goal even though the ball is miles away from the goal.
01:08 Initially, a goal for KIKS, and it seems pretty clear. Nevertheless, Twente raises a challenge flag, meaning they’re questioning the referee’s decision. And with success, the goal doesn’t count! And the time is rolled back to 01:22? Not entirely understandable, but let’s accept it; after all, KIKS accepted the decision too.
00:40 After many duels in the Dutch half, the expected goal finally arrives: KIKS now leads 1-0.
RoboTeam Twente 0 : 1 KIKS
-01:12 Initially, it looked like a successful attack from Twente. But then KIKS wins the duel and shoots towards the Dutch goal. Instead of trying to stop the ball (there were plenty of defenders), the backtracking defenders simply let it roll, and the goalkeeper turns awkwardly, resulting in a goal.
RoboTeam Twente 0 : 2 KIKS

Second Half

05:00 The second half is kicked off. Let’s see if Twente can make a comeback. During the 5-minute break, all robots were checked, which gives some hope.
04:34 Twente successfully intercepted the ball, but the receiver is turned, causing them to lose possession. Fortunately, the goalkeeper is once again on the spot, defusing the situation in the last moment.
03:47 But even the standout player of this match, the Twente goalkeeper, is just a robot, and he can’t handle every game situation. After some duels, it’s now 3-0 for KIKS.
RoboTeam Twente 0 : 3 KIKS
03:21 Once again, the TIGERs Autoref recognizes a goal, but at least from my perspective, I couldn’t see one. It doesn’t count either.
03:06 Very dangerous shot on the Twente goal, but their goalkeeper once again excels and saves it.
02:18 Unfortunately, another rather unspectacular goal against Twente, making it 4-0 now.
RoboTeam Twente 0 : 4 KIKS
01:14 Another shot on Twente’s goal, but once again, the keeper saves it very well. It’s a pity that in this game, he’s the shining star.
01:04 Actually defended well by a Twente bot this time. He elegantly positioned himself in the opponent’s passing lane, preventing the shot on goal.
00:02 Again, very nicely defended by a Twente defender, and with that, it’s unlikely that another goal will be scored before the end of the game.
00:00 After a last, fairly dangerous attack against Twente, the ball eventually goes out of bounds, and the game ends 4-0 in favor of KIKS. This means Twente is out of the tournament.

RoboCup: TIGERs Mannheim vs. Twente

The next game of the day is TIGERs Mannheim against RoboTeam Twente. Because the last game lasted incredibly long, the game will start with a significant delay. But that’s not a problem since games with TIGERs Mannheim always save the schedule, as TIGERs Mannheim invariably destroys all its opponents, making the games quickly come to an end. Twente won’t have much of a chance, they should be lucky if they even get to touch the ball once. You can find the link to the game as always on Twente’s YouTube page or at this link.

Despite the highly anticipated, very one-sided game, we are still curious whether Twente can play with more robots now and if some of their bugs have been fixed. Among other things, Twente often had trouble shooting the ball during kickoff, as they repeatedly caused a double touch, which is forbidden by the rules to prevent individual robots from making “marches” through the field.

First Half

05:00 The game starts with a half-hour delay. Surprisingly, TIGERs are playing with all 11 robots in blue (just kidding), while Twente is playing with 3 robots in yellow.
04:45 Shot on goal by TIGERs Mannheim, but Twente manages to save it! That was unexpected.
04:39 Okay, it didn’t take long, goal for TIGERs.
TIGERs Mannheim 1 : 0 RoboTeam Twente
04:22 Another successful shot on goal, it’s already 2-0 for TIGERs Mannheim.
TIGERs Mannheim 2 : 0 RoboTeam Twente
04:14 This is happening too fast. Another goal, I can’t keep up with writing. They should play slower.
TIGERs Mannheim 3 : 0 RoboTeam Twente
04:02 While this would be expected from other teams, TIGERs is making some major mistakes in this game: they are occasionally not receiving their own passes. Meanwhile, Twente is holding up quite well; they can kick off, and in defense, they are shaky, although it’s still a David vs. Goliath situation.
03:55 The few passes that go wrong for TIGERs don’t stop them from immediately shooting another goal: 4-0 for TIGERs.
TIGERs Mannheim 4 : 0 RoboTeam Twente
03:44 5-0 for TIGERs…
TIGERs Mannheim 5 : 0 RoboTeam Twente
03:10 Now, the TIGERs bots have flexed a bit, playing long passing maneuvers with various chip kicks, only to shoot past the goal at a sharp angle. Still very nice to watch.
03:02 And, of course, they immediately make up for what they missed earlier: 6-0 for TIGERs Mannheim.
TIGERs Mannheim 6 : 0 RoboTeam Twente
02:53 This game may never see the second half: 7-0 for TIGERs Mannheim.
TIGERs Mannheim 7 : 0 RoboTeam Twente
02:33 Due to a ball placement, the next goal has been delayed a bit this time, but, of course, it eventually comes, and now it’s 8-0 for the robots from Mannheim.
TIGERs Mannheim 8 : 0 RoboTeam Twente
02:33 Twente is now taking a timeout, let’s see what they make of it.
02:25 And the game continues. Not much has changed; TIGERs is steadily heading towards the finish line with a score of 9-0. One more goal, and the game will end prematurely.
TIGERs Mannheim 9 : 0 RoboTeam Twente
02:12 The game could have been over in less than 2 game minutes (16 real minutes), but TIGERs Mannheim’s shot was too fast at 6.8 m/s, so it doesn’t count.
01:58 But now: 10-0 for TIGERs Mannheim, the game is officially ended with TIGERs’ victory dances and a robot version of “Eye of the Tiger”.
TIGERs Mannheim 10 : 0 RoboTeam Twente

RoboCup: RoboTeam Twente vs. RoboDragons

The second match of the day is between the two teams RoboTeam Twente and RoboDragons. We have high hopes for a strong performance from Twente, especially since they were able to test their robots and fix bugs at the RoboCup Crailsheim, which we organized in cooperation with Gerhard Schubert at the end of March.

Since the composition of the Twente team changes completely every year, such a “pre-tournament” is immensely helpful as a dress rehearsal for the new team before the actual RoboCup. This is also the reason why Twente traditionally has moderate results in the early games of each year but improves significantly as they progress.

It’s worth mentioning that the construction and completion of the Twente robots have now become a league-wide effort: Just yesterday, a member of the mechanical team from TIGERs Mannheim helped Twente assemble two robots, and we have already provided them with several crucial components and even taken on soldering tasks for them. Regardless of being competitors, sportsmanship and friendship prevail.

Given that our bottlenecks currently lie more within other teams, our hardware teams are somewhat in idle mode. It’s all the more rewarding when you can assist another team in creating an exciting tournament.

First Half

05:00 The game seems to be starting with a significant delay. Twente appears to be facing some issues. At least their robot R2D2 seems to be having a lot of fun, spinning in circles, colliding with the barriers, and driving across the field as if it’s intoxicated.
05:00 The match is now beginning with a 15-minute delay. Twente hasn’t completely resolved all their problems but was forced to start by the tournament organizers. RoboDragons have the kickoff.
05:00 Twente seems to be playing with 4 of their robots, while RoboDragons have 8. The allowance is 11 robots per team. Twente’s bots are purple, and RoboDragons’ are black.
04:55 Goal for RoboDragons within seconds of the game. Currently, Twente doesn’t even have a goalkeeper in the goal, either because they have too few robots or their software isn’t functioning properly, and the goalkeeper isn’t in position.
RoboTeam Twente 0 : 1 RoboDragons
04:24 The game is quite leisurely, but at least there’s action, unlike the previous match. RoboDragons attempt a goal, but the Twente keeper makes the save.
04:04 Neither team is getting ball placements right: While Twente is struggling on the tactical level, the dribbler of RoboDragons is too weak to control the ball effectively. Overall, RoboDragons seems to have a better handle on things.
03:45 RoboDragons call a timeout.
03:08 The automatic referee often decides on “No Progress,” indicating that the game situation hasn’t noticeably changed for at least 5 seconds. Combined with the sluggish ball placements, the game is a bit slow but still faster than our previous match.
02:34 Shot on goal by a RoboDragons bot, but the Twente keeper saves again.
02:27 But this time: A goal from the side by RoboDragons.
RoboTeam Twente 0 : 2 RoboDragons
02:16 Almost a goal by Twente! However, the robot touched the ball twice in a row during the kickoff, resulting in a so-called double touch, and the game was stopped earlier.
02:08 RoboDragons immediately respond with a shot on the Dutch goal, but the ball rolls past.
01:57 But this time: RoboDragons score, making it 3-0.
RoboTeam Twente 0 : 3 RoboDragons
00:31 Very fluid but slow-paced game. Nicely finished with a goal from RoboDragons at a sharp angle. RoboDragons clearly dominating the game.
RoboTeam Twente 0 : 4 RoboDragons
00:12 Immediately a double goal by RoboDragons. But, of course, only 1 goal counts, extending their lead to 5 goals.
RoboTeam Twente 0 : 5 RoboDragons
00:00 And that concludes the first half with RoboDragons leading 5-0 during the 5-minute halftime break.

Second Half

02:51 Another goal by RoboDragons. The Twente keeper was bystander as the ball rolled into the goal.
RoboTeam Twente 0 : 8 RoboDragons