On their third attempt, a team of students from NUST will be representing Pakistan at the RoboCup which begins today. This feat has been a long time in the making and has finally been brought to fruition. Team NUST is the only team to be selected from Pakistan and also the only team from South Asia to have qualified for the RoboCup. They will be competing against 27 other teams in the Standard Platform League Competition. The week-long event will be held from June 27th to July 4th in Leipzig, Germany.
RoboCup is an annual international event which is basically a robot football world cup. It was first held locally in Osaka, Japan but due to huge outside interest the competition was taken to an international level. The Standard Platform League focuses more on the software aspect of the robots. Essentially, all teams are provided with exactly the same robots but their performance is judged based on the Artificial Intelligence code that runs them. The main qualifying criterion for this competition is to prove that your robot is able to make decisions based on Artificial Intelligence.
The team from NUST, under the leadership of Dr. Yasar Ayaz, has qualified two times previously. They were not able to participate in the tournament because of lack of funds – these robots don’t come cheap! The six robots, which they purchased from France’s Aldebaran Robotics, cost them a whopping $17,000. However, this year their efforts did not go in vain. The university was able to allocate enough money to fund the trip for three of the team members.
The Standard Platform League Competition is scheduled for June 30th. We wish Team NUST the very best! Till then, have a look at the project that got them selected for this year’s RoboCup!
Image Source – Dawn
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