Monday, July 21, 2008

Leaving China

We leave China this evening and spend four nights in Dubai before heading back home. This trip has been one hell of an experience and truly bolsters my feeling of China being the most amazing country I have visited. I was in Shanghai in 2005 for the ACM ICPC and I had an awesome time. This really is one of the few places I'd love to return to.

We ended up having only two matches, both on Sunday. Like everyone else, we had many serious issues with the robots. They were breaking, overheating, camera channels randomly swapping. The API provided (NaoQi) by Aldebaran was chowing CPU and RAM and what made matters worse was that when CPU usage hit 100% the robot went through an emergency shutdown and collapsed. We drew both matches 0-0, but the teams we played were ahead of us in their gameplay as bad as we all were so we got knocked out.

We went out to Shanghai on Saturday so we missed the quarter- and semi-finals. More on what happened there later, it was an awesome experience. The finals were held yesterday and honestly it could have been made a little more exciting. I was expecting huge crowds, but the problem was there was simply insufficient space for them as the fields were too close to on another. The Aibo final was first and the Northern Bites from Bowdoin clinched what may have been the final Aibo league.

Then CMU with Georgia Tech played against the NUManoids team from Newcastle in Australia. There were some rather humerous points in the game, but neither team did anything special so they went to penatlies, but not penalties in the normal sense. There was no goalie -- a single robot was placed in front of the goal with the ball in front of it and it had to score as quickly as possible. CMU/Georgia went first and completely screwed up unfortunately, but eventually got the ball in the goals about 3 minutes later. Newcastle, on the other hand, walked up to the ball and kicked for goal in seconds and clinched the first Nao league. The president of RoboCup who is from CMU had some amusing moments.

We've all had an amazing time here. Not only is the location awesome, the venue awesome, but so are all the people. I never knew one could get so many Germans in one place outside of Europe. They were great fun and I really look forward to meeting most of them again in the German Open in Hamburg, April next year.

1 comment:

  1. From what you describe it does sound like you guys had some awesome experience. So sounds like UCT / China / Germany relations are high up on agenda (smiles)