UPennalizers Receive First Place at RoboCup U.S. Open
The UPennalizers, GRASP's robot soccer team, returned to Penn Engineering the winners of the 2013 RoboCup U.S. Open held in Brunswick, Maine. Team members include undergraduates Alan Aquino (CMPE); Sarah Dean and Dickens He (EE); Tatenda Mushonga (MEAM); and robotics master's students Richa Agrawal, Samarth Brahmbhatt, Vibhavari Dasagi, and Aditya Sreekumar. The team is advised by Dan Lee, professor of Electrical and Systems Engineering and director of the GRASP Lab.
The team spent the three days leading up to the competition doing last-minute tweaks and preparing the robots by setting up their vision, localization, locomotion and behavior systems. This year, the league used an expanded field (6 by 9 meters) playing 5-on-5 soccer, so this was the first time the team had a chance to test the robots in such an environment.
Despite any last-minute the difficulties, the UPennalizers went undefeated 3-0-1 in the qualification rounds, drawing a bye into the finals where they played the host team, Bowdoin. In an exciting championship game, both teams' robots deftly moved the ball back and forth down the field and traded goals. However, with the latest improvements in their software, the UPennalizers were able to dribble and coordinate their play to score the game winning and insurance goals, resulting in a 4-2 victory.