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Robosoccer

A new breed of robots takes to the playing field

7 min read
Robosoccer

2000 RoboCup tournament held in Melbourne, Australia

PHOTOS: WILLIAM STOKES
Participants at the 2000 RoboCup tournament held in Melbourne, Australia, prepare for a medium-robot league match [top]. Each robot in this league carries its own vision and intelligence system. In the small-robot league [middle], an off-field computer uses a camera to identify players from the robots' colored tops. Versions of Sony's Aibo robotic dog compete in the four-legged league [bottom]. The dogs use the colored cylinders to gauge where they are on the field. Click on image to enlarge.

Two teams of boxy, wheeled robots face off against each other. A whistle blows and they spring into action, jostling for possession of a brightly colored golf ball on a playing field the size of a Ping-Pong table. Each team struggles to push the ball into the other team's goal located at the opposite end of the table. The robots move fluidly and quickly, constantly adjusting to the run of play in a surprisingly lifelike way. Their anxious builders look on, unable to help because their offspring are completely autonomous.

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Paying Tribute to 1997 IEEE President Charles K. Alexander

The Life Fellow was a professor at Cleveland State University

4 min read
portrait of man smiling against a light background
The Alexander Family

Charles K. Alexander, 1997 IEEE president, died on 17 October at the age of 79.

The active volunteer held many high-level positions throughout the organization, including 1991–1992 IEEE Region 2 director. He was also the 1993 vice president of the IEEE United States Activities Board (now IEEE-USA).

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Robot Learns Human Trick for Not Falling Over

Humanoid limbs are useful for more than just manipulation

3 min read
A black and white humanoid robot with a malfunctioning leg supports itself with one arm against a wall

This article is part of our exclusive IEEE Journal Watch series in partnership with IEEE Xplore.

Humanoid robots are a lot more capable than they used to be, but for most of them, falling over is still borderline catastrophic. Understandably, the focus has been on getting humanoid robots to succeed at things as opposed to getting robots to tolerate (or recover from) failing at things, but sometimes, failure is inevitable because stuff happens that’s outside your control. Earthquakes, accidentally clumsy grad students, tornadoes, deliberately malicious grad students—the list goes on.

When humans lose their balance, the go-to strategy is a highly effective one: use whatever happens to be nearby to keep from falling over. While for humans this approach is instinctive, it’s a hard problem for robots, involving perception, semantic understanding, motion planning, and careful force control, all executed under aggressive time constraints. In a paper published earlier this year in IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, researchers at Inria in France show some early work getting a TALOS humanoid robot to use a nearby wall to successfully keep itself from taking a tumble.

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Industrial Functional Safety Training from UL Solutions

Build knowledge and skills to better navigate today's functional safety landscape

3 min read

UL Solutions offer personnel certification at both the professional and expert levels in automotive, autonomous vehicles, electronics and semiconductors, machinery, industrial automation, and cybersecurity.

UL Solutions

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