CITEC Team Wins at RoboCup German Open

Researchers and students from Bielefeld University competed in household service league 

The Robocup team from the Cluster of Excellence CITEC and the Faculty of Technology at Bielefeld University – the “Team of Bielefeld” (ToBI) – prevailed in RoboCup’s household service league at the German Open in Magdeburg, taking first place in this competition for the first time ever. This year, the team competed in the household service league (RoboCup@Home) with its newly acquired service robot named TIAGo against competitors from Germany, the Netherlands, Mexico, France, and India. 

The “Team of Bielefeld” competed in the tournament with robot model TI-AGo. Dr.-Ing. Sven Wachsmuth heads the team.  (2nd from right). Photo: CITEC/Bielefeld University The Bielefeld team is led by Sven Wachsmuth (CITEC Central Labs) and includes both researchers and students. Leroy Rügemer, Luca Lach, and David Leins serve as team supervisors, with Johannes Kummert playing an advisory role. Students Torben Markmann, Julia Niermann, Jan Pohlmeier and Markus Vieth took part in RoboCup for the first time.
“The team really banded together for an incredible final push,” says Sven Wachsmuth. “Shortly before the beginning of the competition, we still had the feeling that we weren’t exactly perfectly prepared with the new robot and rule book. But with all the programming and testing that we did in the days leading up to the event, and even at the competition itself, the team succeeded in configuring the robot to master its tasks and prevail over the competitors.”

In this competition, service robots’ capabilities are put to the test in various scenarios. TIAGo the robot had to, for instance, serve as a host at a party by greeting guests, bringing them into the living room, and offering them a seat. The robot also had to do household chores, including bringing rubbish from the kitchen to a waste collection point and putting dishes in the dishwasher.       
The CITEC team was able to use TIAGo for the competition thanks to the close robotics research cooperation between the Cluster of Excellence CITEC and the Bielefeld factory location of industry partner Miele. Miele, a leading manufacturer of household appliances and equipment, provided the TIAGo robot to the team for their participation in RoboCup.

The robotics tournament was held this year for the 19th time. In the tournament’s major leagues, which also include the RoboCup@Home league, a total of 49 teams from uni-versities and industry took part. The CITEC team has not only been successful in the German Open: the “Team of Bielefeld” also took first place at the RoboCup world championships in Leipzig (2016) and Montreal (2018).

More information:
Results from RoboCup@Home league in the German Open:

PD Dr.-Ing. Sven Wachsmuth, Bielefeld University 
Cluster of Excellence Cognitive Interaction Technology (CITEC)
Telephone: +49 521 106-2937