The Federation of International Robot-soccer Association (FIRA) is the oldest robotics competition in the world, and the HuroCup is one of the most challenging competitions in existence: a single humanoid robot must compete in an octathalon that consists of a sprint, marathon, lift-and-carry, obstacle run, weight lifting, basketball free-throws, soccer penalty kicks, and a climbing wall. These collectively challenge a robotics team in a broad range of skills central to humanoid motion, complex motion planning, and human-robot interaction.
The SnoBots came in first place in wall climbing, first place in weightlifting, second in United Soccer (where the robot must join with other competitors to form a soccer team), fourth in sprinting, and fifth in soccer penalty kicks. Based on the score across all events, the team won the highly-coveted all around event: the King's class at HuroCup.
Dr. John Anderson, head of computer science, says, “Doing well in one event is usually a tough goal when you have only two students going and many teams have a dozen, and the competition is the best in the world. But doing well enough across the board to win the entire event is an enormous achievement-we’re overjoyed both with the performance and what it demonstrates about our core research.”
The students travelling to Kuala Lumpur were Chris Iverach-Brereton and Josh Jung, and the faculty involved with the team are the directors of the Autonomous Agents Lab, Dr. Jacky Baltes (who also travelled to Kuala Lumpur) and Dr. John Anderson. The team also relies on a range of people who spent time coding over the course of the year, including Diana Carrier, Tiago Martins Araujo, Geoff Nagy, Meng Cheng Lau, and Andrew Winton.
SnoBots, Jimmy and Jeff, built by the Autonomous Agents Laboratory in the Department of Computer Science won the kid-size division of the 2013 FIRA HuroCup in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.