2012 RoboCup Junior in Tasmania

The 2012 programme has regional events scheduled in the North, North-West and South of Tasmania, with a State final at the University of Tasmania in Hobart. Activities are scheduled to involve Soccer, Dance, Dance Theatre, Rescue and Premier Rescue.

A decision was made on 20Jun2012 that the Tasmanian events will be run according to the Australian RoboCup rules which can be see here. In some previous years the Tasmanian robotics organization has produced its own guides which have included modifications to the Australian RoboCup rules. This will not happen this year.

Using the unmodified Australian RoboCup Junior rules at the Tasmanian RoboCup events this year will have the advantage of reducing potential confusion amongst participants. However since many of the Australian rules have been changed this year, students and their mentors should carefully check the 2012 versions. There was previously some potentially confusing internal inconsistency within the 2012 RoboCup Junior Rescue rules (read more at the bottom of this web page), but this has mostly been cleared up, and you should download the changed rules from here.

Tasmanian RoboCup Junior State Final in 2012

This was held on the 1st and 2nd of September 2012, at the University of Tasmania, Sandy Bay Campus. The contacts for further information are susan.bowler@education.tas.gov.au or rcelliott@yahoo.com.

The Rescue and Soccer events were held in the Stanley Burbury Hall, with the dance events in the Arts Lecture Theatre; see the map below.

RoboCup Junior Nationals  Map 2011

Google Maps can usually provide directions; however the Stanley Burbury and Arts Lecture Theatres are somewhat confusingly listed in Google maps, so hopefully the image above might be useful. If you type maps.google.com.au  in to your browser window and ask for directions to the Stanley Burbury Theatre, Hobart, Tasmania and then click on the small window labeled Satellite (top right of your screen) you will see an image something like the map above. This Google web page can also be able to give you a turn-by-turn guide from your hotel to a location on Churchill Avenue that is near the Theatre - go South about 100 metres from this location to find the entrance to the University car park.

The official report on the event will hopefully soon be available here. My strictly unoffical report on the Rescue events follows.

Tasmanian State RoboCup Junior Rescue Events

The Tasmania Regional RoboCup Junior event was held at the Stanley Burbury Hall at the University of Tasmania on Saturday 1st September, 2012. The events contested were RoboCup Rescue and Premier Rescue, Robot Soccer, and RoboCup Dance.

There was a large and enthusiastic attendance. Trying to keep up with what was going on with the Rescue events, I did not have the time to spend with the Robot Soccer and Dance, but I heard that there were four(???) Robot Soccer teams, and a similar(???) number of Dance teams.

There was a huge RoboCup Rescue entry– over 50 teams from all parts of Tasmania – a record number of Rescue competitors. Four teams contested the Premier Rescue, with (as far as I can remember) this being the first time in Tasmania that two teams from Primary Schools have contested this difficult challenge.

The aim of the Rescue event is for the Rescue robot to follow the line, and “rescue the victim” by pushing the “victim” (a can) out of a “chemical spill” (the large green area). The Premier Rescue is similar, except that the “victim” has to be lifted up and then placed on “safe high ground” (an orange block of wood). The Rescue had to be completed before the victim became unconscious (a 2 minute limit). The Rescue events were run over four rounds. The 53 Rescue robots ran on one of six identical courses, with the Premier Rescue event run after the Rescue event, using the same course. Points were gained depending on the number of course tiles traversed, plus a bonus if the “victim” is rescued.

The courses are designed to be more difficult with each round. The third course is shown below.

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The fourth course has had speed bumps (hard to see below) and a “water tower” (a bottle) added as extra hazards for the robot to avoid.

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The results were obtained by adding up all the points gained in all four runs ((“TOTAL SCORE” in the Table below. If the points were equal, the “quickest rescue” (shortest “TOTAL TIME” in the Table below) were given preference.

N.B. These scores are UNOFFICIAL – they are the best I can do typing in from a rather blurry photograph. The official scores will hopefully shortly appear here.  

In the National RoboCup Rescue event, the top eight teams participate in the finals. In the Tasmanian Rescue event, the organisers decided to only have the top four places participate, as this would take less time and enable the teams that had come from all over Tasmania to get back home at a reasonable hour.

The finals were run over two courses, each robot having a run on each of the courses, with the scores and times being added together as before. The courses were much more difficult than the preliminary courses. In the first course below, two areas of “difficult unstable ground” (two seesaws) were included.

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The second course was longer, and included a bridge, speed bumps, and two water towers.

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The first semi-final featured the teams that finished second and third in the preliminary rounds.

I did not get the scores for the second semi-final (first & fourth from the preliminary rounds), but Monkey Kong from Devonport High was ranked ahead of The Improbable Possibles from East Launceston Primary.

In the first Grand Final, the second-ranked teams from the semi-finals competed for third and fourth place.

In the second Grand Final, the teams ranked first in the two semi-finals competed, with the closest result I have ever see in a Rescue final – a mere 2 seconds!

Both robots were incredibly good – as were many of the robots competing. I heard many comments to the effect that the standard of robotics has risen remarkably over the past year – tremendous!

The results and finals for the very tough Premier Rescue event were:

You will note that the rule changes imposed this year means that Grade 6 Primary School students have had to compete against Grade 12 pre-University students. This seems to me to be somewhat unfair, but all teams performed very creditably – I think from memory that all teams managed to grasp the “victim”, and two managed to place the “victim” on “high ground” at least once. For secondary school students to perform at this level is a very considerable achievement. For the Primary School students to be able to push the older students at this level of competition is quite remarkable – both of these teams deserve very high praise for their efforts!

All in all, a fun day!

Regional RoboCup Junior Tasmanian events in 2012

Three RoboCup Junior regional events are scheduled to be held in Wynyard, Launceston and Hobart. These are usually more informal than previous Tasmanian RoboCup Junior State finals, to allow teams to give their robots trial runs before considering entry into the State and/or National RoboCup Junior Finals.

Regional RoboCup Junior - Southern Tasmania

This was held at the New Town High School on Saturday 28th July, 2012.  The official record is posted here. My unofficial memory of the event is that there was a small but enthusiastic attendance.   The number of teams was less than in previous years. This may have been partially due to the event being scheduled earlier than in past years. There were two RoboCup Dance teams entered. I am not certain of the number of Robot Soccer teams, but I think it was on the region of 4 to 6 teams. As usual, I was most interested in the Rescue events.

There were two Premier Rescue teams entered. An early test course set for these teams is shown below.

Southern Tasmania RoboCup Regionals 2012

A later, harder Premier Rescue course is shown below. Neither of the Premier Rescue robots completed this course; however one did a very nice placing of the can on the block in a separate demonstration.

Southern Tasmania RoboCup Regionals 2012 course

The Rescue event was by far the largest with 15 Rescue teams entered. The Rescue entrants were drawn from primary and secondary schools, plus the TAG team featuring students drawn from several different schools. All teams used the command language NXT-G, except the top team that used a version of C.   The courses the Rescue robots faced varied with each round. The initial Rescue courses consisted only of line following, with the bridge being the only hazard. These courses had a similar number of tiles to the first Premier Rescue course shown above. In later runs the cattle grid (speed bumps) was the only hazard added. Five rounds were run, with the results judged with the worst round dropped. The results obtained are shown below.

Rescue Results Southern Tasmania RoboCup 2012

The finals were run-off between the four top teams, first against second, and third against fourth. For the final runs two courses were set. One was a “speed course”, see below.

Robot speed course Southern Tasmania RoboCup 2012

The second was a “technical course”, see below. Note that the “water tower“ bottle was only used in this final run between first and second teams. There was no use at any stage of tiles elevated on blocks, or of the see-saw. The top four teams competed with one run on each of these two courses, the winner being the one with the highest total points.

Robot technical course Southern Tasmania RoboCup 2012

This was a fun event, with a good time had by all.

Regional RoboCup Junior - North-West Coast of Tasmania

This event has been scheduled to be held at Table Cape Primary School in the beautiful North-West Coast of Tasmania on Saturday 4th August 2012. Your team can be registered by filling in the web form available at http://roboticstasmania.org/main/node/24 . Registration closes at 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday 1st August. A 2012 Entrant's kit and media-release form will be sent to you by email after you have registered. If you want to have an early look at the entrant's pack and other forms, they are substantially the same as the 2011 entrant's pack  (including the event timing), and the 2011 questionnaire.   I would like to thank Mark Smithies for this information, and if you want more detail, Mark can be contacted at mark.smithies@education.tas.gov.au

You can find the location of this school by opening your web browser, typing www.maps.google.com.au , and typing in Table Cape Primary School Tasmania . You will get two references, one at Gibbons Street, and one at Bowick Street, both in Wynyard. Ignore the reference to Bowick Street, as the School has now completed the transfer to the Gibbons Street address. If you click on the small "Satellite" window (top right of the map screen) you will get a satellite image of the area. Repeated mouse clicks on the "+" symbol (top left of the map screen) will get a closer view, which could be handy for checking possible parking places near the School. This Google web page is also be able to give you a turn-by-turn guide from your accommodation to the school.

Regional RoboCup Junior - Northern Tasmania

Dance and Rescue competitions have been scheduled to be held at the East Launceston Primary School on Saturday 11th August 2012, with registrations closing on Friday 3rd August. It is also possible that robot soccer may be set up as a demonstration event. I would like to thank John Bardenhagen for the sample information sheet, which is available for downloading here.  The school will be open at 9:00 a.m., and food from the school canteen will be available all day. If you need more information, John may be contacted at  john.bardenhagen@education.tas.gov.au 

You can find the location of the East Launceston Primary School by opening your web browser, typing www.maps.google.com.au , and typing in East Launceston Primary School Tasmania.  If you click on the small "Satellite" window (top right of the map screen) you will get a satellite image of the area. Repeated mouse clicks on the "+" symbol (top left of the map screen) will get a closer view, which could be handy for checking possible parking places near the School. This Google web page is also be able to give you a turn-by-turn guide from your accommodation to the school.

Australian RoboCup Junior Event Rules.

The Australian RoboCup Junior 2012 rules can be obtained from: Rescue, click here; Dance, click here; Soccer, click here.

www.DrGraeme.net - Tasmanian RoboCup Junior Dance, Soccer and Rescue contacts for 2011 - Note that the information above is my personal opinion only, the official Robotics Tasmania web site is here.