Brazil: train robots to compete in the football World Cup in Austria

eurobot_bresilSAO PAULO (Brazil) (AFP) – Seven students fanatical Brazilian electronics work on the ground to improve the offensive and defensive strategies of their robots compete in the “Robocup 2009” which begins Monday in Austria. They run, dribble and mark: these robots play soccer through the development of artificial intelligence is not only used in major laboratories world but also in fairs Ignaciana University Educational Foundation (EIF), Sao Bernardo dos Campos, in the southern state of Sao Paulo.

They interact on a synthetic grass with a golf ball, microchip and high technology to prepare their team of six robots who will travel Saturday to Graz (Austria) to compete in robotics competition “Robocup football from June 29 to July 5. More than 400 teams from forty countries participate in this sort of World Cup for robots. Brazil will be represented by the team of the FEI and the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul.

The FEI team consists of six robots, seven students in computer science and electrical engineering and two teachers, but only five students will travel with the “players” because of high costs of travel.
Young people work tirelessly to refine devices robots. Mechanics has been improved in the last minute, as Eduardo Garcia, 28, and Gabriel Francischini, 20, are they the final touches, screwdriver in hand.

The system allows the robots to play soccer alone is simple, according to these experts: high-precision cameras filming from above the football field and send the information to a computer. The computer program analyzes the situation, defines what will be happening next and sends the signal via radio to the robot receives the order and executes it.

Each “player”, 15 cm high and 30 cm in diameter has sensors for “foot” that helps to know if he has the ball.Five robots are the team owner and a sixth will remain on the bench in case of “injury” of a player during the match two halves of ten minutes each. Each robot has position: striker, defender, midfielder or goalkeeper. The program can calculate the force of the shot on goal or pass and the speed at which the players move, “says José Angelo Gurzoni, 28 years.

The FEI team is three time champion Brazil in the category “very small” (very small) but play the Robocup in that of “small size” (small).
For developing, it took many hours without sleep, money and collaboration with foreign universities. Students work with a computer program and the mechanisms of American Studies centers have shared with them.

Engines precision robots have been purchased in Austria, plates and electronic parts are Brazilian and high definition cameras have been ordered from a factory in Germany. All investments have come from the coffers of the university. Of the 25 teams competing in the category “small size”, Brazil in particular feared five, including Thailand, defending champion. So far “no Brazilian team has won the Match” for the Robocup says Gurzoni. But “the idea of this type of competition is primarily to generate knowledge and share with other universities,” says he.