Aussies triumph at RoboCup 2003

Australia has won a robot soccer world championship; with the University of New South Wales (UNSW) proving the pick of Australian universities that starred this week at RoboCup 2003 in Padua, Italy.

UNSW’s team, rUNSWift, defeated the University of Pennsylvania’s UPENNALIZERS 4-3 in RoboCup’s Four Legged Robot League final, one of the research competition’s many leagues that attracted 224 teams from around the globe.

It’s the third time UNSW has won the league since it entered RoboCup in 1999.

While the University of Newcastle only made their RoboCup debut last year, its NUbots team finished third in the competition, according to the RoboCup Web site.

Australians also did well in the Small Size League, for robots less than 15cm tall. The University of Queensland’s RoboRoos were runners up after losing the final 1-0 to Cornell University’s (US) Big Red team.

After UNSW’s finals win, team member Brad Hall said in an e-mail from Italy the team had been concerned after UPENNALIZERS opening goal.

“We were worried! And then we scored four in a row, but then UPENN scored again just before half time,” he said

“The second half was even closer! UPENN scored early, but then it was close-goal followed by close goal on both sides.

“We were so caught up in the game that we jumped a bit when the referee blew his whistle. The game was over. It took us all a moment to calculate the scores, and then we realised we won!”

The finals of all leagues have been followed by the code-sharing and an international scientific symposium on robot related subjects.

RoboCup 2004 will be held around the same time next year in Lisbon, Portugal.

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