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Robocup world-championchip, Bremen, Germany


The first videos are cut now. So you can download them here and on the video page.

Robocup 2006, full matches.

Match   high quality   normal quality 
Microsoft Hellhounds - TJArk    (147 M)    (41 M) 
Microsoft Hellhounds - Northern Bites    (126 M)    (35 M) 

 Day 7. We won the Technical Challenges

By coming in second in the passing challenge, and third in the new goal and open challenges we won the overall technical challenge! Now we're packing our two awards along with all the other gear and leave for home. Seven days of RoboCup are over! Our thanks to the organisation and the other teams.

The obligatory winning pose.

 Day 7. Hellhounds 6:0 GermanTeam - Third place!

We defeated the GermanTeam in a great 6:0 game, and have reached an overall third place in the 4-legged league! Not too shabby. The atmosphere at the game was fantastic (at least on our side). The audience - and there was a lot of audience - wasn't sure who to cheer for since both teams were German, so they simply cheered for everybody.

 Day 6. Hellhounds 0:7 NUbots

We lost our game in the semi-finals versus the NUbots from Australia. They played some fantastic AIBO soccer, and we couldn't realise the chances we had. Congrats to them. Tomorrow, they'll compete for the title with rUNSWift, another Australian team, while we're up against our compatriots from the German Team in the battle for third place. Interesting turn of events.

Our team and the audience before the second half.

The same people (audio only, I was too excited) after we scored the goal.


In a painfully exciting game, we beat the Wright Eagles with 1:0. And we definately were the loudest team in the hall. Now I need a soothing tea.

 Day 5. Hellhounds 7:0 Northern Bites - QUARTER FINALS

We haven't lost a single game so far and no opponent managed scored against us in the second round - now we're in the quarter finals! Our first game is against the Wright Eagles, sometime tomorrow.

 Day 5. Hellhounds 7:0 TJArk

We just defeated TJArk from China with a flawless 7:0. Additionally, the dogs displayed what can only be called emergent passing behavior which was very impressive to us and the large audience. Our next opponent are the Northern Bites from the US. Both of these teams qualified for the second round by winning in the intermediate round.

 Day 4. Hellhounds 8:0 UPenn

We just won our first game in the second round! We defeated the American Team UPenn with 8:0, scoring four goals in each half. This was our last game for today, tomorrow we'll face the NothernBites and TJArk.

Our goalie wasn't very busy, but our field players sure were...

 Day 4. Livestream

Just a quick reminder, there are two livestreams running between 11:00 and 17:00 local time every day of the competition. We're getting a fair amount of screen time, maybe because we aren't as shy as some of the other teams.

 Day 4. Group leaders!

We handily beat the other teams in our group of the first competiton round! As first of our group, we qualify for round two, skipping the intermediate round. Our next opponent is UPenn from the US, the match is today at 17:30. UPenn had no difficulties defeating the opponents in their own group (SPQR and Team Chaos), so this will make for an exciting match.

 Day 4. Hellhounds 6:1 Cerberus!

We just beat Team Cerberus from Turkey with 6:1. We had some difficulties localizing in the first half of the game, but the second half went very smooth. I'm sure our enthusiastic cheering helped.

 Day 3. Racing

We just had a rob ot race with a number of other teams, including a humanoid robot. We came in second! Jolly Pochie from Japan came in first, leading us by a snout - congrats! The whole thing was announced and there was an audience - cool!

Ready - set - go!

We're the blue dog which is cuddling the red one. The red wins in the end - maybe the dogs pushed one another... They are kind of hidden behind the leg in the last photo. Hope you can deal with occlusions better than the robots can.

 Day 3. Hellhounds 7:0 ARAIBO

We won our game with a final score of 7:0! ARAIBO's goalie crashed a couple of times, which we used to our advantage without remorse. It wasn't all scoring, though, we spent a lot of time fighting for the ball in the middle of the field. A somewhat odd display was our striker dancing around forever in front of the enemy goal - but after all in the end we scored. See for yourself, watch the video (47 M).

Our team leaders need to work on their cheering moves.

In the foreground we're changing the trikots of the dogs. In the background, one of us is giving an extended interview to the people from the internet stream.

 Day 3. First game, half time, 4:0

... for us!

 Day 3. The real thing

Our first real game is in just an hour! We're up against ARAIBO from Japan. Hopefully things will go as well as they did during yesterday's test games. German national television is reporting from here, there is a livestream which will probably air our game at 11 AM local time.

 Day 2. Organisation

The conditions here at the RoboCup have their ups and downs. Lots of little kinks have been worked out, the lights always work now, for one thing, but the colors of the beacons are still a bit off. Overall, everything is very professional: there are fences between and surrounding the fields to prevent problems due to colorful clothing etc. And the advertising is in greyscale, for the same reasons. Access points are assigned to teams just like fields and IP adresses, running your own wireless LAN is prohibited. On the other hand, the WEP passwords have changed numerous times. But at the opening event there were free pretzels and beer for everyone, so we'll let that one slide.

Gray advertisments. The magenta of T-Systems would have been a non-trivial problem otherwise...

High-tech communication: these sheets with important informations are taped to some wall. Left: Monday noon, right: Tuesday night.

 Day 2. Second test match

We won our test match, too, this time 8:0. However, SPQR competed with only 3 robots on the field, their fourth robot is one leg short, ie lacks one leg, ie he has only three legs. Sorry for the bad puns in a sad situation, because having too few working robots is a huge issue for many teams and will prevent them from participating in coming RoboCups.

 Day 2. First test match

We just had our first test match of the competition, versus Team Chaos. We won 6:0 after just the first half! There's a video of one scene (45 M) as a QuickTime movie (because that's what my camera writes). Later this afternoon, we're playing against the Italian team SPQR.

Preperations at our tables and on the field.

Engaging the enemy and the hoped for result.

 Day 1. The other guys

Besides the 4-legged league, there are other, obviously slightly less cool competitions going on at the RoboCup. We are fairly isolated, though, since we're essentially walled in, and due to the sheer size of this event. But somewhere around here, friends of us are competing in the humanoid league - the BreDoBrothers. They have a blog, too - two, actually! - albeit nur auf Deutsch.

Humanoid league folks are really brave.

 Day 1. The 4-legged area

Looking left and right from the spectator area.

 Day 1. Schedule

Our first game is on Wednesday at 11 AM - the second game in the 4-legged league overall. Our opponent is Team ARAIBO from Tokyo. After that we're up against Cerberus. The third opponent depends on how we fare in the the first round. If you want the gritty details, try to decipher the official schedule on your own time.


 Day 1. Arrival

The Hellhounds have arrived in Bremen. Getting here was a breeze, including finding the hall. We're just a few hundred meters from the main station, it doesn't get any more central than that. Mostly there's just a giant parking lot between us and the nearest takeaways and supermarkets.


Most of the other teams have arrived, as well, and everything is quite a bit larger than in Holland. And more international: I'm looking at the back of a competitor which reads "University of science and technology of Chine". I guess he had a longer trip than we did.


The event badges are huge for unknown reasons - even the small ones are annoying, but these are worse. On the other hand, they double as tickets for the local public transportation, which is nice.

On the left our two flags are barely visible above the wall, on the right side of the photo you can see the fields for the 4-legged league.

 Day 1. Departure

Packing our stuff, at 7 AM in the morning.

 The day before. Lunch

UNI Falafel is the official food supplier of the RoboCup 2006 readiness weekend.

 The day before. Amazing weather

Not a cloud in sight, temperatures to wear a tshirt (or less) and it's the weekend - the perfect conditions to stay inside a large hall without air conditioning and crouch over both laptops and robot dogs. Final preperations for the RoboCup 2006, the world championships of robotic soccer, where we will probably be doing much the same, with only some things different: the hall will be way better, there will be 200 times as many people so it's assumedly even hotter. Oh and the test games won't be, well, tests. At least starting Wednesday.


Of course we fully intend to keep you up-to-date on how we fare. Below there are a few images to convey the atmosphere during the final preperations here in Dortmund.

It's not just players for the German national football team who hurt their calf immediatly before they're needed. Robots are more easily fixed, though.