The International Robot Competition was held in Taipei December 15, and NTU Electrical Engineering Professor Ren-Chyuan Luo’s team from the NTU International Center of Excellence in Intelligent Robotics and Automation Research (NTU-iCeiRA), succeeded with a basketball player robot, which had high performance for in the basket scoring and agile interactivity reflexes, defeating international competitors as well as overcoming the team from Xiamen University which had won the initial competitive rounds in mainland China. NTU Electrical Engineering faculty and students once again secured their remarkable fifth consecutive success in the IRHOCS (International Robot Hands on Competition & Symposium) competition.
Jointly organized by the Taiwan Ministry of Education and IEEE, the 5th IRHOCS competition featured participating teams from universities in Taiwan, mainland China, and Japan. Among the teams were the NTU Electrical Engineering Department’s Master’s candidates iCeiRA team, which placed first with their winning entry, the ShooBot.
The NTU Team Captain (MSc in EE second year student) Che-Yi Lin explained, the competition includes independently picking up the ball, positioning, avoiding obstacles, and passing the ball. The team used cameras to keep the robot informed about the upcoming situation, as well as lasers to determine distance, then used flywheels to adjust robot speed and distance when shooting for a basket.
The NTU Robotics Team Adviser, Professor Ren-Chyuan Luo noted, robots rely on their artificial vision systems to determine the position and location of the ball, then calculate the basketball trajectory to the basket hoop, while avoiding any obstacles along the way. Given the active competitive environment, colors and glare can affect successful shots into the hoop, so the trajectory algorithm must account for adaptability, ensuring optimal elimination of such factors. Prof. Luo explained, the visual servo control system has applications in human-robot interface, and is a critical technology for service type smart robots. As the level of difficulty advances each year, progress is achieved in smarter and innovative algorithms, which will enhance industry automation technology and international competitiveness.
Prof. Luo also noted that in the future society robots will help mankind with many services, so robotics research is focusing on man and robot interactions, collaboration, and mutual affinity. Currently Taiwan robot makers emphasize human-computer interaction and cognitive science in the development of robot research. The IRHOCS competition, helps Taiwan’s teams to exchange with international competitors and share through observation, while also nurturing Taiwan’s next generation of advanced technological talents skilled in interdisciplinary technical integration.