CS199r, Spring 2009: Special Topics in Computer Science
Building autonomous robotic systems requires
understanding how to make robots that observe, reason, act, and
cooperate. It also requires fusing knowledge from many different
disciplines: mechanical, electrical and computer science. To advance
research in artificial intelligence and robotics, the International Robocup Competition was
started in 1994. The grand challenge is to create an autonomous robot
team that can defeat the WorldCup human team in 2050. To tackle this
multi-faceted problem, there are several leagues that focus on
different aspects of the problem. The small-size league focuses on
robust robot design (teams design and build their own robots) and
multi-robot control/cooperation in highly dynamic environments. What
makes RoboCup most exciting is that once the game starts, the robots
must make decisions themselves - the humans who programmed the teams
do not control them.
The CS199r special topics class for 2009 was a
project-based course around autonomous robot soccer. The objective of the class is to get hands-on experience
in the design and execution of an engineering project, that combines
significant CS sophistication with the uncertainty and complexity of
hardware operating in the real world.. And to have fun
learning. The students worked on all aspects, from low-level control
(wheels, radio, vision, motion planning) to high-level intelligence
(how to program a effective strategy for soccer).
U.S. Open Small-size Robot Soccer Competition, Harvard, May 2009
At the end of the class, we hosted the U.S. Open Small-size Robot Soccer Competition at the
Hilles Penthouse (Radcliffe Quad, May8-10th, 2009). We had
three visiting teams: Carnegie Mellon University, Georgia Tech and the
new team from University of Rochestor. The event was organized by the
Harvard College Engineering Society (HCES) and the Harvard-MIT Robot
Soccer Team (RFC Cambridge). The games attracted a large number of
young spectators who asked many questions and made many suggestions on
how to play better!
CS199r Class PhotoAlbum and
U.S. Open RoboCup PhotoAlbum
Movies from U.S. Open Small-size Robocup games:
Highlights of all Games;
before the games; Gatech sings the
CS199r: John Bestoso, Siddarth Chadrasekharan, Alex Chang,
Richard Gong, Svilen Kanev, Joshua Montana, David Robinson, Mark
VanMiddlesworth, Andrew Wong, Radhika Nagpal (lecturer), Kyle Lawton
(TF), Alexei Colin (TF), Geneva Trotter (TF).
We were also assisted by many RFC members and Harvard
SEAS folks in hosting the Robocup event.
Many Thanks to our Sponsors!
and MIT Edgerton Center
Microsoft iCampus, Google, and many others.