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Interview with Roberto Figueiredo: the RoboCup expertise

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Interview with Roberto Figueiredo: the RoboCup expertise

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Five people holding kid-sized robots
Roberto Figueiredo is a grasp’s scholar on the College of Aveiro. He’s a member of the Daring Hearts RoboCup group which competes within the Humanoid KidSize soccer league. He’s at present the native consultant for the Junior Rescue Simulation. We spoke to Roberto about his RoboCup journey, from the junior to the main leagues, and his expertise of RoboCup occasions.

When was your first RoboCup occasion and which competitors did you participate in?

I began in 2016 within the Junior leagues with my highschool and I took half within the rescue simulation competitors (though I initially joined the on-stage competitors). This primary occasion really occurred in Portugal, and it was just like a workshop. We certified to go to the world cup in rescue simulation, in Leipzig, Germany, and we ended up in second place. That was very nice, and it was my first contact with RoboCup, and with robotics usually. I’d been working with electronics up to now, however simulation gave me a little bit of an introduction to the extra theoretical points of robotics, and to AI normally. Rescue simulation makes you consider methods to make the robots impartial and never manually managed by people.

RoboCup team in front of the rescue setupRoberto’s first RoboCup in 2016, Leipzig, pictured with the Singapore group celebrating after the finals.

Might you inform us concerning the subsequent RoboCup occasions that you simply took half in?

In 2017 we certified to go to Nagoya, Japan, which was not simply an incredible RoboCup, however an incredible journey. That’s one other advantage of robotics, you get to fulfill loads of new folks in new international locations. We did fairly properly on this competitors as properly, I believe we reached fifth place.

After that we went to European RoboCup Junior in Italy. The next yr was my final RoboCup as a junior, which was in Sydney. That was additionally an attention-grabbing occasion and I bought to talk a bit extra with the majors and perceive how their groups labored. By this level, I had gained extra expertise, and I felt able to become involved with a serious league RoboCup group.

There’s a large hole between the junior and main leagues. After I joined my group (the Daring Hearts), a lot of the group had been PhDs and I used to be only a second yr bachelor’s scholar so it was fairly laborious to choose up all of the information. Nonetheless, if you’re persistent sufficient and you have an interest in, and captivated with, robotics you’ll get the dangle of it and also you’ll be taught by trial and error.

Seven people standing and one kneelingEuroRoboCup 2022 in Portugal. Roberto (kneeling in photograph) was a part of the organising committee.

When was your first competitors with the group within the main league?

My first competitors was really final yr, in Thailand. We didn’t carry out as we wish to, nonetheless, there may be way more to RoboCup than simply the competitors – it’s now extra of a scientific and knowledge-sharing occasion, it’s distinctive. Simply this yr, in Bordeaux, we had an issue with our robots. Each time we disconnected the ethernet cable, the robotic simply stopped taking part in, and we couldn’t work out what was occurring. I requested one other group that was utilizing the identical software program – that they had discovered the issue earlier than they usually advised us the best way to clear up it. I don’t assume you’ll see that in different competitions. Each group has a joint goal which is making science progress, making friendships, and making different groups higher by sharing their information. That’s actually distinctive.

How did you be part of the Daring Hearts group?

I made a decision to do my grasp’s within the UK (on the College of Hertfordshire), to expertise a special nation and a special type of training. After I joined, I knew there was a group so I used to be already trying ahead to becoming a member of. After a few years of labor, we lastly bought to go to a contest as a group. It’s been an incredible time and an enormous studying expertise.

What’s your position on the group?

In our group, everybody does a little bit of the whole lot. We nonetheless have loads of issues to resolve – on each the {hardware} and software program facet. All of us at present are laptop scientists so it’s a bit extra of a wrestle to work on the {hardware} facet. So, I do a little bit of the whole lot, each AI and non-AI associated issues. For instance, I’ve finished some 3d modelling for the robots, and I’m at present engaged on the balancing downside. All of us work collectively on the issues which is wonderful since you get to see a little bit of the whole lot and be taught from everybody. Robotics is a really multidisciplinary subject. You get to study all types of subjects: mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, machine studying, coding normally.

The Daring Hearts’ qualification video for this yr’s RoboCup competitors

Might you inform us about this yr’s competitors (which occurred in Bordeaux)?

This yr we had been much more ready than final yr, once we’d simply come again from COVID, and all of our skilled members had lately left the group, attributable to ending their PhDs and beginning work. Making a profitable robotic group is a big integration downside. There are such a lot of items that have to go collectively and work completely for the robots to perform, and if one fails it seems like your system isn’t doing something. We bought strolling working completely this yr, we had imaginative and prescient working properly too, and we had a secure resolution tree, and we had been capable of take heed to the controller (which is sort of a referee and passes on details about fouls, sport begin and stops and so on.). Nonetheless, we had some bugs within the resolution tree that made the whole lot crumble and we spent loads of time making an attempt to debug it. This occurs to loads of groups. Nonetheless, you’ll be able to nonetheless admire the work and progress of what they’ve finished.

Five people holding kid-sized robotsRoboCup 2023 in Bordeaux. Roberto (left) with Daring Hearts teammates.

What are the fast plans for the group?

We are actually eager about becoming a member of the simulation competitors, which is a part of our league. It takes place within the winter season and we’re planning on becoming a member of to work on our software program. The transition between simulation and {hardware} is sort of laborious. You want a great simulation base to have the ability to switch straight the information to the robotic. We’re engaged on having an excellent simulation so we are able to switch, at the least extra simply, the information learnt in simulation to the robots.

RoboCup is shifting extra in direction of AI and studying, which we are able to see within the 3d simulation. The robots be taught loads of the movement by way of reinforcement studying, for instance. Within the bodily leagues it’s not as straightforward as we have now to switch that to the true world, the place there may be play within the joints, there’s backlash, there’s play within the 3d elements – there are loads of variables that aren’t taken under consideration in simulations.

How has being a part of RoboCup impressed your research and analysis?

Each time I am going to RoboCup I come out eager about what I’m going to do subsequent. I couldn’t be extra impressed. It’s a very intense subject however I find it irresistible. It makes you need to work actually laborious and it makes you captivated with science. I did my bachelor’s undertaking associated to RoboCup, I joined a grasp’s course on robotics, I hold asking my Professors in the event that they need to begin a group again in Portugal. I’m going to do my grasp’s thesis on robotics, on humanoids. I believe humanoids are a really advanced and attention-grabbing problem. There isn’t a one single resolution.

About Roberto

Roberto Figueiredo

Roberto Figueiredo is a Portuguese, AI-focused laptop scientist with a bachelor’s diploma from the College of Hertfordshire. He at present pursuing a grasp’s in Robotics and Clever Programs from the College of Aveiro, and is captivated with advancing his experience in robotics. He has lengthy been very keen about robots and AI, being a participant in RoboCup since 2016 within the Rescue Simulation league. He has since turn out to be native consultant for the Rescue League in Portugal and joined a Main group, Daring Hearts, within the Child Measurement league, one of the difficult in RoboCup Humanoid Soccer.


Lucy Smith
is Managing Editor for AIhub.




AIhub
is a non-profit devoted to connecting the AI neighborhood to the general public by offering free, high-quality info in AI.

AIhub
is a non-profit devoted to connecting the AI neighborhood to the general public by offering free, high-quality info in AI.

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