Before the battles of the bots begin, students, parents and coaches meet in the lecture hall to be greeted by Dr. Winfried Schmitz, organizer of the RoboCup Junior-Qualifikation Tournament (CJD Königswinter) and Prof. Dr. Gerhard Kraetzschmar, Professor for Robotics at HBRS. Some 200 students in 67 teams are eagerly awaiting their first matches.
The refectory serves as an arena for the two obstacle courses Rescue A and Rescue B:
Tasks are similar to the challenges encountered by real-world search- and rescue robots: They have to move in impassable terrain, search for lost persons and give feedback to rescue teams.
Rescue A: Robots are following a black line on the floor, circumnavigate obstacles, find a "victim" and transport it to a safe place.
In the rescue B challenge, there are no reference lines and the robot finds several victims, whose location is then reported.
A true challenge: The ramp, which has to be managed uphill as well as downhill
Various tables are set up for the soccer competitions. There are different leagues according to number, weight and construction base of the robo-kickers. The ideal soccer robot needs a good sense of orientation on the playing field, find the ball, score goals and act as a keeper as well. The football sends infrared signals that are recognized by the sensors of the robot.
Especially the youngest competitors are sometimes overwhelmed by their emotions: Lots of cheering for every goal plus the occasional scolding when a robot does not perform according to expectations. Changes in hardware and software are allowed only during breaks.
Generation Smartphone celebrating a goal
The most elaborated competition is a set-up of two robots playing as a team. To make things even more complicated, there are no boards to limit the playing field, so that the ball can go out of bounds. 97% Robotics, a team of students from CJD Königswinter, won this competition.
In the lecture theatre, four teams are preparing for the Dance Contest.
The NoNos (Gymnasium Rahden)
Students develop their own choreography, chose suitable music and design stage settings. After the performance there is a small presentation to give the jury and the audience some more information on the team and their work. Traditionally, the dance category has the highest proportion of girls. However, female and mixed teams are on the rise in the other categories as well.
After two eventful days, it's time to regather in the lecture theatre for the award ceremony:
On the left: Award ceremony, on the right: The Technik Clever Robots from Königswinter
Impressive performance: The Technik Clever Robots from CJD Königswinter scored more points in the primary division (ages 14 and under) than the winner of the secondry division (15-19 years of age). Both competitions were held on the same parcours. The team is coached by Prof. Dr. Thomas Breuer (HBRS).
The BohleBots from Haan: First Place Soccer 1:1 Open League