The University of Newcastle’s robotics team - the NUbots – is jetting off to Hefei China to compete at RoboCup 2015. The team is comprised of both PhD and undergraduate students from the fields of computer science, computer engineering and software engineering.

RoboCup is an annual international robotics competition that was founded in 1995 in order to promote robotics and artificial intelligence research. The NUbots have competed in the competition in every year since 2001 and have experienced success with being crowned world champions in 2006 and again in 2008. The long-term objective of the RoboCup initiative is to have fully autonomous, life-sized robots to beat the current human world champion team by 2050.

The NUbots currently compete in the humanoid league where fully autonomous robots with a human like body plan and human like senses play soccer against each other. Each year the rules change to challenge the competitors and progress towards the 2050 long-term objective. In 2015 the robots must play on artificial turf that is 3cm’s tall and must play with a licensed FIFA soccer ball with a team of 4 robots per team on the field at a time.

The humanoid league allows teams to experiment with hardware modifications and in 2015, the NUbots have completely re-designed the robots heads and feet to ensure the robots can compete given the rule changes.

The team depart Australia on Tuesday the 14th of July with the competition commencing on the 19th of July. This is followed by the annual research symposium that the team will present at on the 23rd of July.

Please join us in wishing the NUbots the best of success for the tournament in 2015!