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Hyderabad team to take part in Robocup 2009

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J.S. Ifthekhar

IIIT Hyderabad team preparing the software for the two-legged robots

A pair of robots has been acquired from France

The robot will walk to the ball it and kick it into the goal

Hyderabad: Human vs humanoid. No pipedream this. The Robocup 2009 will see artificial intelligence at its best. Come July, teams of fast-footed robots will set the soccer turf aflame at Graz in Austria.

Kshitij, a team from IIIT, Hyderabad, will represent India at this prestigious event. It is the only team from India to qualify for the standard platform league soccer competition. At the IIIT, Hyderabad, the non-profit research university, a team of six undergraduate and Masters students are giving shape to the NAO Robot under the guidance of Kamal Karlapalem, a professor. A pair of robots costing Rs. 2 lakh each have been acquired from France and another pair is on the way. The faculty and students are developing the necessary software for the two-legged robot to recognise the ball, walk to it and kick it in the goal. It will also be able to distinguish between its own team members and the opponents. “We are evaluating and experimenting to find out how hard it can kick,” Prof. Karlapalem said.

Quick reaction

The game helps create artificial intelligence and foster robot research besides being a source of entertainment. Measuring two-and-half-feet and weighting 11 kg, the robot has two digital cameras, voice recognition, swappable head, embedded CPU with Wi-Fi, lipo battery. It will be able to communicate with other team robots. The robots being developed will have quick reaction time and within half a second decide which way to go. Rahul Sarika, S. Harith, Asrar Ahmad, Aditya Desai, N. Madhava Rao and M. Vignesh have been working on the robots for the last two months. “By April we are hopeful of making them fully functional,” they say.

Team Kshitij is looking for active support to develop solutions helping multi-robotics coordination and performance. By 2050, a fully functional Robo soccer is expected to be ready. “If we don’t get a head start now, it will be difficult to catch up with other teams,” says Prof. Karlapalem.


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