Mixed Reality

Game principle

Each robot has its own intelligence (AI) on its team computer and is supplied with data by the server. With the help of a camera, the server can recognize all positions of the individual robots on the field and transmit them to the team computer. The game field and ball are not real. They are displayed on a lying TFT screen by the server. Five robots per team move on this screen and receive their commands regarding vehicle speed and -direction as well as the shot commands via infrared.

Components of Mixed Reality

The Mixed RealitylLeague is the easiest and cheapest way besides the junior leagues to create your own RoboCup team, which works with "real" robots.

Knowledge requirements are:

  • Programming in C or Java
  • Linux
  • Electrical engineering
  • The required software
  • Simulator
  • VisionTracking
  • Visualization
  • AI framework

Eclipse as a programming environment is available for free in Mixed Reality CVS (see link list). The simulator can also be programmed and played with WITHOUT HARDWARE! Therefore MixedReality does not require any financial expenses (some official teams actually only see the robots at the championships).
Otherwise the hardware consists of the following parts:
- Robot Eco! Be2 (about 300 € / piece: available via head organization in Japan, currently about 10-12 pieces / team are required)

  • Programming device (self-assembly: see CVS)
  • Charger (self-assembly: see CVS)
  • Infrared transmitter (self-installation: see CVS)
  • AVR, ARM programming adapter (about 80 € for firmware updates of the bots)
  • Camera (about 1500 € GigE / Firewire with at least 1024x768 pixels at 30Frames / second or 2x USB-WebCam for approx. 80 €)
  • TFT screen: 42" min. (about 1500 € - must not radiate infrared)
  • Hardware construction (approx. 800 € for Item©-profiles or similar with wood / acrylic disc)
  • Linux server (standard PC)
  • 2x team computer (standard PC / notebook)
  • Participation in RoboCup competitions costs a team fee and a fee per team member. The fees vary greatly.

If a (new) team is interested in the RoboCup participation, we advise you to contact an existing team (not entirely though) regarding the technical requirements.Help also is available in the MixedReality forum or at the existing teams.

 

 

 

FAQ

Can one bot take the ball from another?

> Yes, since the bots cannot "hold" the ball. Moving the ball works only by shooting. If the ball is stopped at the bot, another one can go there and shoot it.

What is the cost of an Eco! Be2 (the robot)?

> Currently the unit price for battery and housing is about 300 €

Is MixedReality a real RoboCup League?

> Yes, at the German Open, the Mixed Reality will be played for the first time as an official senior league. The league is officially part of the World Championships since 2008.

Why is the field displayed on a screen and not printed on paper, for example?

> The football field, the bots and the ball are simulated. Theoretically, the bots could also ride on a normal table top, which would not have much in common with football. But also with the screen you can create interesting tasks, such as driving through a maze, playing PacMan, etc.

Are there any fouls in the game?

> Yes, bots are not allowed to block one another. Also the ball may not be encircled by a team or a goal completely blocked.

How long does a game last?

> A game is 2x 5 minutes. Each team can request a time out. The game is then interrupted by a human referee.

Where to buy the robots?

> Unfortunately you can’t buy them in the hardware store. You can only get them through the "RoboCup Federation" in Japan. With customs and transport this unfortunately is relatively expensive.

Who produces the robots?

> Originally the robots were manufactured by Citizen© in Japan. However, production was halted due to low demand. The circuit diagrams are mostly available to the MixedReality Usergroup though (they also participated in the development), which could lead to further development in the future.

What is the main task of an MR team?

> In the first place, the programming of the individual artificial intelligences, because with that one enters the competition. However, it is also important to further develop the hardware and software framework. Furthermore the development of opportunities for teaching is an important point (which is rated separately at the World Cups).

Which programming language is used?

> The AIs are (mostly) programmed in Java or C. Theoretically, however, any programming language which works with the interface of the server can be used.

Can one participate in the MixedReality without having the hardware set-up (robot, camera, screen etc.)?

> Yes, there is a simulator that can be used as a server. Currently, the properties of the bots are not yet perfect, but quite well simulated.

Can the robots also play header shots or high shots?

> No, since we can only "simulate" two-dimensionally on the screen everything moves on one plane only. The ball is virtual.

Which batteries are used for the robots?

> Lithium ion batteries from Amperex Technology Limited (ATL)©. The recharge time is about 2 hours for about 30 minutes of runtime. The capacity (typically) is 170 mAh at 3.0-3.7 V