Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence
Subseries of Lecture Notes in Computer Science
Edited by J. G. Carbonell and J. Siekmann
Lecture Notes in Computer Science Edited by G. Goos, J. Hartmanis and J. van Leeuwen
Hiroaki Kitano (Ed.)
RoboCup - 97". Robot Soccer World Cup I
Jaime G. Carbonell, Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, PA, USA J6rg Siekmann, University of Saarland, Saarbrticken, Germany
Hiroaki Kitano Sony Computer Science Laboratory 3-14-13 Higashi-Gotanda, Shinagawa Tokyo 14t, Japan E-mail: kitano @ csl.sony.co.jp
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Die Deutsche Bibliothek - CIP-Einheitsaufnahme
RoboCup : Robot Soccer World Cup I / RoboCup-97. Hiroaki Kitano (ed.). - Berlin ; Heidelberg ; New York ; Barcelona ; Budapest , Hong Kong ; London ; Milan ; Paris ; Santa Clara ; Singapore ; Tokyo : Springer, 1998
(Lecture notes in computer science ; Vol. 1395 : Lecture notes in artificial intelligence) ISBN 3-540-64473-3
CR Subject Classification (1991): 1.2, C.2.4, D.2.7, H.5, 1.5.4, 1.6, J.4
ISBN 3-540-64473-3 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg New York
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In the history of artificial intelligence and robotics, the year 1997 will be remembered as a turning point. In May 1997, IBM Deep Blue defeated the human world champion in chess. Forty years of challenge in the AI community came to a successful conclusion. On July 4, 1997, NASA's pathfinder mission made a successful landing and the first autonomous robotics system, Sojourner, was deployed on the surface of Mars. Together with these accomplishments, RoboCup made its first steps toward the development of robotic soccer players which can beat a human World Cup champion team.
RoboCup is an international initiative devoted to advancing the state of the art in AI and robotics. The particular goals of the project and potential research directions are numerous. The most ambitious and long range goal can be stated a s :
to build a team of robot soccer players, which can beat a human World Cup champion team.
The accomplishment of the goal requires decades of extensive efforts and se- ries of innovative technologies must be developed. In addition, a broad range of technologies need to be integrated. However, because of the difficulties of the challenges, and the potential breadth of the technological domains affected, research toward RoboCup's ultimate goal is expected to generate numerous spin- off technologies. For details of the goals and technical issues of RoboCup, see the article "RoboCup: A Challenge AI Problem" in this volume.
This preface outlines tile progression of robotic soccer over the course of the past 5 years from a basis for research in a few individual laboratories scattered around the world to a full-blown international initiative.
The idea of robots playing soccer was first mentioned by Professor Alan Mackworth (University of British Columbia, Canada) in a paper entitled "On Seeing Robots" presented at VI-92, 1992, and later published in a book Computer Vision: System, Theory, and Applications, pages 1-13, World Scientific Press, Singapore, 1993. A series of papers on the Dynamo robot soccer project was published by his group.
Independently, a group of Japanese researchers organized a Workshop on Grand Challanges in Artificial Intelligence in October, 1992 in Tokyo, discussing possible grand challenge problems. This workshop led to a serious discussions of using the game of soccer for promoting science and technology. A series of inves- tigation were carried out, including a technology feasibiiity study, a social impact assessment, and a financial feasibility study. In addition, rules were drafted, as well as prototype development of soccer robots and simulator systems. As a re- sult of these studies, we concluded that the project is feasible and desirable. In June 1993, a group of researchers, including Minoru Asada, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, and Hiroaki Kitano, decided to launch a robotic competition, tentatively named the Robot J-League (J-League is the name of the newly established Japanese Professional soccer league). Within a month, however, we received overwhelm- ing reactions from researchers outside of Japan, requesting that the initiative be
extended as an international joint project. Accordingly, we renamed the project as the Robot World Cup Initiative, "RoboCup" for short.
Concurrent to this discussion, several researchers were already using the game of soccer as a domain for their research. For example, Itsuki Noda, at Elec- troTechnical Laboratory (ETL), a government research center in Japan, was conducting multi-agent research using soccer, and started the development of a dedicated simulator for soccer games. This simulator later became the official soccer server of RoboCup. Independently, Professor Minoru Asada's Lab. at Os- aka University, and Professor Manuela Veloso and her student Peter Stone at Carnegie Mellon University had been working on soccer playing robots. Without the participation of these early pioneers of the field, RoboCup could not have taken off.
In September 1993, the first public announcement of the initiative was made, and specific regulations were drafted. Accordingly, discussions on organizations and technical issues were held at numerous conferences and workshops, including AAAI-94, JSAI Symposium, and at various robotics society meetings
Meanwhile, Noda's team at ETL announced the Soccer Server version 0 (LISP version), the first open system simulator for the soccer domain enabling multi-agent systems research, followed by version 1.0 of Soccer Server (C++ Version) which was distributed via the R~)boCup's World Wide Web home page. The first public demonstration of this simulator was made at IJCAI-95.
During the International Joint Conference on ArtificiM Intelligence (IJCAI- 95) held at Montreal, Canada, August, 1995, the announcement was made to organize the First Robot World Cup Soccer Games and Conferences in conjunc- tion with IJCAI-97 Nagoya. At the same time, the decision was made to organize Pre-RoboCup-96, in order to identify potential problems associated with orga- nizing RoboCup on a large scale. The decision was made to provide two years of preparation and development time, so that initiM group of researchers could start robot and simulation team development, as well as giving lead time for their funding schedules.
Pre-RoboCup-96 was held during International Conference on Intelligence Robotics and Systems (IROS-96), Osaka, November 4 - 8, 1996, with eight teams competing in a simulation league and demonstration of real robots for middle size league. While limited in scale, this competition was the first competition using soccer games for promotion of research and education.
The official first RoboCup games and conference was held in 1997 with great success. Over 40 teams participated (real and simulation combined), and over 5000 spectators attended. As results of the game, AT-Humboldt (Humboldt Uni- versity, Germany) became the World Champion for the simulator league, runner- up was AndHill (Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan), the third place was ISIS (Information Science Institute / University of Southern California, USA), and the fourth place was CMUnited (Carnegie Mellon University, USA). For the small-size reM robot league, CMUnited (Carnegie Mellon University, USA) be- came the World Champion, by beating the NAIST (Nara Advanced Institute for Science and Technology, Japan). The World Champion for the middle-size
league was awaded to Deamteam (Information Science Insti tute / University of Southern California, USA) and Trackies (Osaka University, Japan) because both the final game and a preliminary game ended in draws.
Apart from the winners of the competition, RoboCup awarded two Engineer- ing Challenge Awards and one Scientific Challenge Award. RMIT Raiders (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia) and Uttori United (a joint team of Institute of Physical and Chemical Research (RIKEN), Toyo University, and Utsunomiya University, Japan) received the Engineering Challenge Award for their innovative design of omni-directional driving mechanisms. The Scientific Challenge Award was given to Scan Luke (University of Maryland) for demon- strating the utility of an evolutionary computing approach by evolving a soccer team using genetic programming. These challenge award were created in order to encourage scientific and engineering innovations. Often the use of new ideas and technologies work negatively for the results of the competit ion in the short run. Put t ing too much emphasis on winning or lost potentially hampers the incentives for using new and innovative ideas. The challenge award is created to solve this problem. We consider this award to be equally prestigious to the World Championship.
This book is the first official archival public