Latest entries written by Till Hofmann

Carologistics defend the championship title at the RoboCup German Open Logistics League

The Team Carologistics, which is composed of researchers and students of the Cybernetics Lab IMA & IfU, the Knowledge-Based Systems Group (both RWTH Aachen University), and the MASCOR Institute (FH Aachen University of Applied Sciences) successfully defended the German championship title in the RoboCup Logistics League for the fourth time in a row. The RoboCup German Open took place from 25 to 29 April at the Magdeburg exhibition halls.

After an exciting group phase, the Carologistics started into the playoffs leading with 106 points, one point ahead of the runner-up GRIPS from Graz University of Technology. After the playoffs, both teams faced each other again in the final.

In the final against GRIPS, also the runner-up of last year's international RoboCup, the game was extended by an overtime of 5 minutes for the first time in the history of RoboCup Logistics League because both teams were tied at the end of the regular game. The Carologistics then took the lead by two points and kept it until the end of the game. At the end of the game, they could almost score another two points, but - as in the World Cup in Japan - the final action was finished one second after the end of the game and so the game ended with a narrow lead of Carologistics.

In the RoboCup Logistics League, two teams compete with up to three autonomous mobile robots in an intralogistics scenario against each other. The playing field is a smart factory from the context of the Industry 4.0, where intelligent machines manufacture complex products in varying production environments.The scenario is particularly characterized by the comprehensive communication and cooperation of the mobile robot. In the first phase of the game, each robot team explores the previously unknown playing field, creating a common "world view". In the second phase, the electronic referee (RefBox) announces complex products that must be produced cooperatively within certain time-windows. In this phase, the robots have to re-plan frequently, as the opponent plays on the same field and therefore the accessibility of paths or machines is always subject to variations. Machines spontaneously switch to a maintenance condition and can not be used at this time, and because individual steps such as grasping a product may fail occasionally.

In preparation for the RoboCup World Championships in Montreal, Canada in June, the team will focus on improving the gripper system to allow more robust autonomous grasping of work pieces in order to make full use of the newly developed agent system.

Posted by Till Hofmann on May 1, 2018 09:00

Carologistics win the fourth world championship in Japan

The team Carologistics (RWTH Aachen and FH Aachen) was able to defend their title as world champion of the RoboCup Logistics League against team GRIPS from Graz with 58 to 28 points in a very exciting final on July 30.

In the RoboCup Logistics League, two teams compete with up to three autonomous mobile robots in an intralogistics scenario against each other. The playing field is a smart factory from the context of the Industry 4.0, where intelligent machines manufacture complex products in varying production environments.The scenario is particularly characterized by the comprehensive communication and cooperation of the mobile robot. In the first phase of the game, the robot team explores the previously unknown playing field, creating a common "world view". In the second phase, the electronic referee (RefBox) announces complex products that must be produced cooperatively. In this phase, the robots have to re-plan frequently, as the opponent plays on the same field and therefore the accessibility of paths or machines is always subject to variations, because machines spontaneously switch to a maintenance condition and can not be used at this time, and because individual steps such as grasping a product may fail occasionally.

In this year's finals, the production phase started with an exciting head-to-head race of the two opponents. The first finished product of team Carologistics was lost in a slight, rule-compliant collision with a GRIPS robot. The team from Graz was able to keep up by preparing additional production steps. Only with the second produced and first successfully delivered product, Carologistics gained an advantage that ultimately lead to Carologistics’ triumph. A third product was also produced, but was delivered two seconds after the end of the game and thus no longer counted.

The Carologistics, which won the world championship for the fourth consecutive time, consists of scientists and students of the Cybernetics Lab IMA/ZLW & IfU (RWTH Aachen, Mechanical Engineering, Prof. Sabina Jeschke), the Knowledge-Based Systems Group (RWTH Aachen, Computer Science, Prof. Gerhard Lakemeyer), and the MASCOR Institute (FH Aachen, Electrical Engineering and information technology, Prof. Alexander Ferrein). This year was a very special RoboCup. Exactly 20 years after the very first RoboCup in Nagoya, Japan, RoboCup returned to its birthplace.The Carologistics could not only inspire tech-savvy people with their robots, but to the delight of the spectators, they also moderated their games in Japanese. In addition to the world title, the Carologistics won the Technical Challenge, where different types of machines had to be identified only by image processing and without the normally used AR tags, and where the teams had to play a game in a cloud-based simulation.

Next year the RoboCup will be held from June 15 to June 22 in Montreal, Canada. In addition, there will be another German Open in Magdeburg.

Posted by Till Hofmann on August 1, 2017 09:00