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: Final Setup Day – Technical Challenge and Radio Problems?

The last setup day has arrived. To prepare our sleep schedule for the upcoming days, we headed to the hall at 7:30 AM today. Despite many tired faces, the focus was immediately there. It had to be, as our Technical Challenge “Black and White” starts at 8 PM, where the efficient changing of shell colors is tested. This challenge was introduced to make the different teams more recognizable to the audience.

LEAGUE TEST MATCH:

Yesterday, for the first time, we were able to conduct a test match against ourselves to identify many errors. Today, it was the TIGERs’ turn. Unlike us, they played a test match against RobôCIn to demonstrate the game flow to the entire league.

 

 

 

 

 

 

RADIO ISSUES:

Meanwhile, a third of the strategy team is working on fixing radio issues. If you fear that this RoboCup might face a similar downfall as the last one, let me reassure you. The radio now works well for 8 robots, which is sufficient for the group phase, as teams can play with 8 robots if they wish. However, this won’t work in the knockout phase, where each team can field 11 robots if they are able. Testing the solution is proving to be a persistent problem due to random parameters and outcomes. However, we remain confident that we will solve this in time.

 

ROBOT MANUFACTURING:

Not only the strategy but also the mechanics team is working at full speed. They are continuously manufacturing parts to have more robots in stock (and hopefully on the field). Special attention is being paid to the wheels to ensure they run more smoothly than before. However, a robot is not only made up of parts but also of firmware, which runs on the robot. Since there are still heat issues, the only solution is to keep at it, test, and not lose hope. Ultimately, errors, substitutions, and sources of damage should be minimized as much as possible.

RoboCup Eindhoven: Arrival

After nearly a year, it’s finally time again: RoboCup 2024 is here, this year in the Dutch city of Eindhoven! Teams from all over the world and various leagues are currently traveling and will all try to claim first place in their respective leagues!

Of course, our team is also ready to go, and this morning 14 students from our team boarded a train in Nuremberg heading to Essen. What they didn’t know at the time: The train in Düsseldorf that would take them to Venlo doesn’t exist. This brings back memories of a popular meme from last year:

So, our travel group will likely arrive at the hotel in Eindhoven with an estimated delay of one hour and begin to take over the hotel rooms and floors for us and our robots. Starting next week, our team will be allowed into the hall!

By the way: Besides us, this year’s Division A will also feature teams ZJUNlict (China), KIKS (Japan), RoboCîn (Brazil), luhbots (Germany), TIGERs Mannheim (reigning world champion, Germany), Immortals (Germany), RoboDragons (Japan), and RoboTeam Twente (Netherlands). From experience, TIGERs Mannheim, ZJUNlict, and Immortals are particularly strong teams that we need to surpass!

German Open: Review

Now that the German Open, the second April tournament, has come to an end, we would like to take a brief look back at the event.

Unfortunately, we couldn’t win a trophy at this tournament either, but we gained valuable insights into our system and were able to significantly improve it towards the end. We started the tournament on Wednesday with completely new motor drivers and the associated problems, but we gradually got a handle on them.

It’s a pity that our last game on Saturday against TIGERs Mannheim was just a friendly match: If we had performed the same way the day before against Immortals, the tournament might have ended quite differently. But no matter: With the experiences and measurement data we were able to collect from this tournament, we can now enter RoboCup 2024 stronger and hopefully win big prizes there.

But the tournament was not only valuable for us: TIGERs Mannheim, Immortals, and Tritons also surely gained valuable insights. It’s a shame that Tritons couldn’t play in the end. It seems there is still some work to be done before real games can be played. All the more helpful that they had many opportunities at the German Open to exchange ideas with our team members and those of TIGERs and gather helpful input on how to solve the upcoming problems.

And finally, the tournament also seemed to be well received by the spectators: On the final day, the field was surrounded by visitors during both our friendly match and the final, eagerly following the game’s progress. Time and again, some children started chanting “ER-Force” – to such an extent that we had to assure TIGERs that we had not paid any of the spectators to be our cheering squad.

So we leave Kassel with the firm hope of being able to visit again next year when it’s time for RoboCup German Open 2025!

German Open: Finale: Immortals vs. TIGERs Mannheim

Now it is finally time: The final match of the German Open between TIGERs Mannheim and Immortals will take place shortly.

The livestream can be found as always on the YouTube page of TIGERs Mannheim.

First Half

05:00 And the game begins. TIGERs will play in yellow, while Immortals is the blue team.
04:25 After the ball was briefly in the TIGERs’ half, the tide quickly turns, and TIGERs begin a counterattack. This ends in Immortals’ goal, putting TIGERs ahead by one goal.
Immortals 0 : 1 TIGERs Mannheim
04:14 Another shot at Immortals’ goal, but this time the team can save it.
03:51 The pressure on Immortals does not let up. One shot on goal follows another, and at first, the defense holds. But eventually, it’s time: Goal for Mannheim!
Immortals 0 : 2 TIGERs Mannheim
03:34 That was somewhat sketchy for Mannheim standards: The ball placement wasn’t quite pretty, then they disturbed the opponent a bit, couldn’t shoot the ball accurately, and finally even kicked the ball out of the field. This earned Mannheim a yellow card, meaning they will play with one less robot for the next 2 minutes.
02:49 A strong back-and-forth on the field: Sometimes the ball is in TIGERs’ half, sometimes in Immortals’. But eventually, it ends up with Immortals – in their goal!
Immortals 0 : 3 TIGERs Mannheim
02:26 After some sluggish corners that Immortals unfortunately couldn’t place, it’s back to the attack for TIGERs. But Immortals can clear at the last second by deflecting the ball out of bounds.
02:20 A little outburst from the Immortals robots: Some of them spin quite quickly in circles, making the Immortals members a bit uneasy, but the problem seems to fix itself.
02:17 And now it’s time again: Eventually, the TIGERs robot manages to get past the Immortals’ defense and shoot the ball into the goal.
Immortals 0 : 4 TIGERs Mannheim
02:06 And immediately another successful shot on goal by TIGERs Mannheim. They increase their lead to 5.
Immortals 0 : 5 TIGERs Mannheim
02:05 The first substitution of the game: An Immortals robot has to come off.
01:55 Another shot on goal by TIGERs, but this time the ball is too high, so the goal doesn’t count.
01:15 And another goal by TIGERs Mannheim. The AI referee reports again that the ball is too high, but we doubt that. And indeed, the human referee decides: Goal by Mannheim!
Immortals 0 : 6 TIGERs Mannheim
00:28 Again a very nice and fluid game by both teams. No interruptions disturb the flow of the game. The Immortals bots fight against the goal threat for a long time, but eventually, it’s time for another goal by Mannheim.
Immortals 0 : 7 TIGERs Mannheim
-00:05 And of course, TIGERs often finish the first half with another shot on goal, so we go into halftime with a score of 8:0.
Immortals 0 : 8 TIGERs Mannheim

Second Half

05:00 And so the second half begins. The teams have switched sides, which is actually rather unusual in modern SSL games.
04:30 Still a fairly quiet game in the second half so far. Eventually, TIGERs start an attack, but Immortals simply shoot the ball out of the field.
04:13 Again, strong pressing by TIGERs Mannheim, but the ball just misses the goal.
03:55 And the pressing continues, but this time it doesn’t end well for Immortals: The ninth goal for Mannheim!
Immortals 0 : 9 TIGERs Mannheim
03:18 Although the ball lands in Immortals’ goal, it was obviously a chip shot. Therefore, the goal doesn’t count.
03:08 Indeed, a rare moment where TIGERs have to substitute a robot.
02:50 Strong defense by Immortals, but the pressure on them is still immense. Let’s see how long they can withstand the pressure.
02:40 Well, it didn’t last long. After a nice attack, it’s ironically the Immortals goalkeeper who deflects the ball into the goal. Thus, the game ends early at 10:0, and TIGERs Mannheim can now officially call themselves the German SSL champions!
Immortals 0 : 10 TIGERs Mannheim