U.S. droids carry the day at 2011 RoboCup finals

Engineers from Virginia Tech are bringing the Louis Vuitton Humanoid Cup to the U.S. for the first time.

5-foot-tall CHARLI-2 won in the adult-size class. Virginia Tech

America's robot might won the day at the RoboCup 2011 tournament in Istanbul, Turkey, with a team from Virginia Tech dominating the field.

Teams DARwIn and CHARLI from the Robotics and Mechanisms Laboratory (RoMeLa) are the first U.S. groups to win the adult-size and kid-size classes, taking home bragging rights along with the Louis Vuitton Humanoid Cup, a prestigious crystal trophy that was held by Germany and Japan in the past.

The team's 5-foot-tall humanoid robot CHARLI-2 (that's Cognitive Humanoid Autonomous Robot with Learning Intelligence) made its debut in the RoboCup this year, beating Singapore's Robo Erectus 1-0 in a kicking challenge in the adult-size class.

As this video shows, CHARLI-2 moves like a very frail old man. But the robot was already famous last year when Virginia Tech heralded it as "the first untethered, autonomous, full-sized, walking, humanoid robot with four moving limbs and a head, built in the United States."

The lab's miniature humanoid DARwIn-OP, developed with engineering students from the University of Pennsylvania, won the kid-size class, defeating Japanese team CIT Brains 8-1. The final seen in the video below shows that the kid-size matches are far more exciting.

RoboCup robots have made progress since I saw my first games in 2005, but they have a long way to go before the tournament's goal of fielding a team of humanoids against the best human players in the world by 2050.


About the author

Crave freelancer Tim Hornyak is the author of "Loving the Machine: The Art and Science of Japanese Robots." He has been writing about Japanese culture and technology for a decade. E-mail Tim.

 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Show Comments Hide Comments
Latest Galleries from CNET
Uber's tumultuous ups and downs in 2014 (pictures)
The best and worst quotes of 2014 (pictures)
A roomy range from LG (pictures)
This plain GE range has all of the essentials (pictures)
Sony's 'Interview' heard 'round the world (pictures)
Google Lunar XPrize: Testing Astrobotic's rover on the rocks (pictures)