RoboCup German Open 2020 cancelled

Sadly, the RoboCup Major competitions of the RoboCup German Open in April have been cancelled due to the corona virus pandemic. The University of Koblenz-Landau has also cancelled all on-campus courses for the time being, so we will have to stop cuddling up in our small lab. Even so, we are optimistic that the RoboCup world cup in June will take place (Fingers crossed!). We will do our best to prepare for it from home and by taking extra safety measures when testing with the robots in the lab.

Lisa always goes with the times. Here she is right after executing her new „Hamsterkauf“ module. (Adapted from an image by Stephanie Lieske/BW Bildung und Wissen)
Lisa always goes with the times. Here she is right after executing her new „Hamsterkauf“ module. (Adapted from an image by Stephanie Lieske/BW Bildung und Wissen)
Manuel and Farabi at work testing gesture recognition on Lisa (see the screen on the right for a visualization of the detected poses). This picture was taken last week before the cancellation of all on-campus courses, so excuse the lack of social distancing ;-)
Manuel and Farabi at work testing gesture recognition on Lisa (see the screen on the right for a visualization of the detected poses). This picture was taken last week before the cancellation of all on-campus courses, so excuse the lack of social distancing ;-)

Lisa visits RobertaLab

Last Friday, Lisa took part in the season closing event of RobertaLab. RobertaLab offers robotics and programming workshops for girls. You can find out more on their website: RobertaLab Koblenz

Since RobertaLab also takes place at the University of Koblenz, this was just a short walk to another building for Lisa (it was slightly longer for the human companions who had to make the trip multiple times because of forgotten power wires and keyboards). Lisa served as a greeter at the beginning of the event and later supported the certificate awarding ceremony with complementary praises, all with her unique German accent.

Lisa and the RobertaLab 19/20 participants.
Lisa and the RobertaLab 19/20 participants.

Afterwards, the RobertaLab participants showcased their Lego Mindstorms projects. Maybe some of them will join team homer for the RoboCup 2030? We hope that Lisa will get a new paint job by then.

Lisa watches the presentation.
Lisa watches the presentation.
Lisa and her smaller relatives, the Robertas.
Lisa and her smaller relatives, the Robertas.

New year, new labels

Here at team homer we start the new year by spending hours labelling cups, cutlery and long-expired food items in pictures. Because we know how to have fun.

For those who aren’t familiar, labelling simply means to mark the region in an image where a specific object is. We do this for many pictures and then feed the labelled images into a neural network. This way, the network learns how to recognize the trained objects in new pictures even with perspectives not seen before.

We labelled more than 300 pictures of our many test objects, so Lisa and TIAGo should now be better equipped for recognizing and grabbing the right objects in the coming tests.

The whole group procrastin... concentrating on creating the perfect labelling set design.
The whole group procrastin... concentrating on creating the perfect labelling set design.
Dear diary, it's day 23 of labelling. I'm beginning to develop violent fantasies about smashing this hard-to-label translucent cup.
Dear diary, it's day 23 of labelling. I'm beginning to develop violent fantasies about smashing this hard-to-label translucent cup.
As service robots, Lisa and TIAGo can recognize all your cutlery (as long as your household only uses childproof plastic cutlery from a certain Swedish furniture concern).
As service robots, Lisa and TIAGo can recognize all your cutlery (as long as your household only uses childproof plastic cutlery from a certain Swedish furniture concern).

Nacht der Technik @ Handelskammer Koblenz

Last Saturday, many people got to meet Lisa and TIAGo at the “Nacht der Technik” (Technology Night) at Handwerkskammer Koblenz. The “Nacht der Technik” is an annual event organized by the chamber of crafts with the support of local tech companies. From noon until midnight, visitors can learn about latest technological advances in a number of small lectures and tutorials, live demonstrations and hands-on displays. Highlights of this year’s event included 3D-printing, autonomous driving and many AI and smart home related applications.

Lisa makes small talk with the crowd.
Lisa makes small talk with the crowd.

Our robots and our new student team supported our sponsor KEVAG Telekom at their booth. Although our robots still have difficulties understanding German, especially the younger guests were enchanted with Lisa. Plus, we had many interesting talks with visitors about our robots and related topics such as robots in geriatric care, robot bees and robot world domination. Thanks for dropping by!

This was also one of the first public events for our new student team which you will soon see more of – we’re currently preparing for our next challenge at the RoboCup German Open 2020 in Magdeburg.

TIAGo watches from behind and showcases pose recognition results on his screen.
TIAGo watches from behind and showcases pose recognition results on his screen.