Fedora + soccer = Ronaldo-esque technique

Fedora powers the world's best robot-playing soccer player. Could it be useful for other things, too?

Matt Asay Contributing Writer
Matt Asay is a veteran technology columnist who has written for CNET, ReadWrite, and other tech media. Asay has also held a variety of executive roles with leading mobile and big data software companies.
Matt Asay
2 min read

I recently helped my son take third-to-last place in the Pinewood Derby. Reading this, I clearly should have powered his car with Fedora.

Fedora is the operating system of choice for AllemaniACs' winning robot in the RoboCup, a soccer tournament played between robots. Fedora has fueled AllemaniACs' victories in 2006 and 2007, and appears to be poised to raise the cup again in 2008.

The RoboCup sounds fascinating. There is no human intervention in the games beyond coaches yelling instructions to the robots, and the robots responding in kind. Hopefully they respond better than my five-year old does on her mob ball team....

AllemaniACs' robot is mostly powered by off-the-shelf Fedora, with some modifications that have been contributed back to the Fedora core. Importantly, these modifications and the work done for Fedora's RoboCup success aren't limited to the electronic dreams of RoboCup's Ronaldos:

RoboCup is not just a competition, it serves as a benchmark for scientists to compare methods and implementations. Its applications extend far beyond the soccer field, with RoboCup technologies being utilized for entertainment, search and rescue in large-scale disasters, and service robotics. It will probably take at least another ten years to develop highly effective and autonomous robots. However, the research completed by RoboCup teams and applicable technologies will continue to gradually be applied to real situations.

Who said soccer wasn't contributing to world peace and the betterment of humankind? :-)

I suspect that AllemanACs originally chose Fedora, at least in part, based on its price tag ($0.00). But the deeper benefits of open source - customizability, flexibility, and feature/functionality - have shown through. Fedora is a winner. Just ask the losers in the RoboCup.