RoboCup 2023: TIAGo mobile manipulators’ success in the robot competition

image of TIAGo OMNI + robot with a bakcground of RoboCup 2023 competition, where TIAGo robot is perform a task in @Home league

During the first week of July, the city of Bordeaux was buzzing with robotics enthusiasts taking part in the annual RoboCup competition. To introduce RoboCup, it’s a gathering where robotics and Artificial Intelligence scientists from all around the world come together to share knowledge and advance technical and scientific progress through different competitive scenarios. For many years, TIAGo has been the robot of choice by universities and research institutions to compete in RoboCup 2023, and this year was no exception! Eight teams chose robots made by PAL Robotics: six TIAGo robots, one TIAGo OMNI++, and last but not least, one TIAGo Base robot.

All the PAL Robotics robots participated in the RoboCup@Home league, where robots are expected to be helpful in homes. They must demonstrate their abilities through various tests, such as finding and recognising people, detecting and handling objects, and navigating indoors with confidence. In open demonstrations and the final round, the robots can showcase their strengths to convince a panel of experts.

TIAGo at RoboCup 2023

The teams that competed with the TIAGo robot were: LCASTOR from the University of Lincoln (UK), Gentlebots from the University of Leon (Spain), CATIE Robotics (France), Serious Cybernetics Corporation (SCC) from the University of Applied Sciences Ravensburg-Weingarten (Germany), SocRob@Home from the University of Lisbon (Portugal), and Team of Bielefeld (ToBi) from the University of Bielefeld (Germany).

Our TIAGo robot combines perception, navigation, manipulation, and Human-Robot Interaction skills, making the robot suitable for a wide range of applications in complex industrial scenarios. TIAGo is a popular choice for research in universities and innovation centers worldwide, offering a modular design that can be tailored to customer requirements. The robot includes a flexible arm capable of reaching both the ground and high shelves, with interchangeable grippers or a humanoid hand for diverse manipulation tasks.

TIAGo OMNI++ at RoboCup 2023

The team from the University of Bonn, NimbRo@Home, chose the TIAGo OMNI++ robot to compete in the cup.

Our TIAGo OMNI++ robot is equipped with omnidirectional drive with 3 degrees of freedom mecanum wheels. This provides the robot with 360 degrees of movement and more flexibility than ever. TIAGo OMNI++ is a bi-manual platform that comes with interchangeable end effectors, 360 LiDAR, and a screen.

TIAGo Base at RoboCup 2023

Lastly, the LyonTech team from the Chemistry and Chemical Engineering School, CPE Lyon, worked with the TIAGo Base robot at the RoboCup competition.

Our TIAGo Base robot works autonomously to enhance logistics and boost efficiency and productivity. The robot operates safely and adapts to changes, avoiding obstacles and people.

PAL Robotics’ support of RoboCup

We were delighted to see such a large number of teams ready to compete in the RoboCup competition with our robots and our colleague and software engineer, David ter Kuile, travelled to Bordeaux to support the teams and answer their questions. When asked about the atmosphere, David said, “The environment of the RoboCup@Home challenge was really nice. Teams were friendly towards each other and interested in how others were approaching certain tasks.” Regarding the support teams required, David mentioned, “During the first two days, teams asked the most questions. They wanted to know if the robot could perform specific actions or how they could adjust certain parameters to make the robot more suitable for the challenges they faced. One of these challenges was, for example, navigation, where they needed to decrease the maximum navigation speed. Some questions were more difficult than others, but in the end, I was able to help with all of them.” He later added, “By the third and fourth day, the teams got the hang of it, and by this point they mainly focused on perfecting their own code and participating in the challenges.”

TALOS attracts attention at JNRH’2023

Even though our TIAGo robots were the ones competing, they were not the only robots by PAL Robotics that you could meet at the RoboCup competition. Our most advanced humanoid robot, TALOS, or as the proud owners of the robot at LAAS-CNRS call the robot, PYRENE, made its presence felt as it took steps through the crowd at the JNRH’2023 (Journées Nationales de la Robotique Humanoïde), an event within RoboCup, supported by Dynamograde – a joint laboratory, recently launched with the Gepetto team from LAAS-CNRS and TOWARD. TALOS didn’t just walk around; the humanoid robot also climbed stairs and tackled uneven surfaces.

humanoid rtobot talos walking at the robocup 2023 competition

RoboCup 2023 Results

Firstly, we would like to express how proud we are of all the teams that participated in the RoboCup competition and applaud their hard work and dedication to robotics.

After a whole week of coding, trial and error, we are happy to share that four teams made it to the top five of the RoboCup@Home league!

2 – SocRob@Home
3 – CATIE Robotics
4 – NimbRo@Home
5 – Team of Bielefeld (ToBi)

Congratulations to the teams!

Once again, RoboCup took the world by storm, and we are thrilled to be in the midst of it!
But that is not all! We are happy to announce two upcoming robotic competitions, which we are sponsors of.

The ERL – Smart City Competition 2023 will be taking place from 18-21 September in Milton Keynes, UK in which our CEO, Francesco Ferro is a board member.
The competition will consist of five different episodes, these being:

Episode 1 – Deliver coffee shop orders
Episode 2 – Through the door
Episode 3 – Take the elevator
Episode 4 – Shopping pick and pack
Episode 5 – Socially Acceptable Item Delivery

Find out how to participate.

HEART-MET Field Campaign 2023 will be happening on 25-29 September in Florence, Italy.
Participating teams will be able to use our TIAGo robot to test their applications.
The competition will consist of three different benchmarks, which are:

1. Object detection
2. Person detection
3. Object sorting task

Find out how to participate.

To learn about the capabilities of TIAGo and the different customisations available, visit our website. Finally, if you would like to ask us more about TIAGo as a research platform, do not hesitate to get in touch with us.

Read our blog about previous participation at RoboCup.

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