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EtherCAT soccer robots are world champions again

September 2023 News

Tech United is a multidisciplinary team of students, postdoctorates and employees of the Eindhoven University of Technology, who are working on robot development. Their expertise is gleaned from the fields of mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and computer algorithms. Tech United relies on EtherCAT for its communication technology, as it has done since the first generation in 2005, and participates in robot tournaments around the world. The team has done it again: its autonomous EtherCAT-based soccer robots won the world championship, the RoboCup, the most powerful league in robot soccer.

The RoboCup is an annual world championship for robots that can communicate and respond to an ever-changing environment. It is an open-source competition, and after each tournament all of the knowledge gained is shared among the teams. The rules of the game also change every year to challenge teams to constantly improve and innovate their technologies.

The software for controlling the robots consists of four modules: Vision, World Model, Strategy, and Motion. The Vision module processes data from the vision sensors, such as omnivision images, to determine the positions of the ball, opponents, and the robot itself. This position data is fed into the World Model. Here, image data from all team members is combined to create a unified representation of the environment. The Strategy module makes decisions based on this generated world model. Finally, the Motion module translates the Strategy module’s instructions into low-level control commands for the robot’s actuators.

For more information contact Polina Andreeva, EtherCAT Technology Group, [email protected], +49 911 540 56226, www.ethercat.org/press




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