MathWorks has announced its sponsorship of RoboCup 2013 as part of its drive to introduce young people to the exciting possibilities of project-based learning and encourage more students to pursue careers in engineering and technology. MathWorks is offering all competing teams access to its software, as well as organizing training workshops both prior to and during the event.
Ahead of the competition, MathWorks engineers are travelling to universities around Europe, including Germany and Portugal, to better understand how teams are using MATLAB and Simulink to develop their robots in addition to mentoring the teams. MathWorks’ technical experts will address any challenges the teams may be experiencing and use the feedback to develop content for further workshops at the event. By enabling a Model-Based Design approach to robotics, MathWorks offers RoboCup 2013 teams the ability to design, test, validate and share their models within one software environment.
RoboCup is a global scientific initiative designed to advance the state of intelligent robots and accelerate the pace of engineering and science. This year’s event will take place in the Netherlands, 26-30 June, and involve more than 400 teams from around the world.
The centerpiece of RoboCup is the RoboCup Soccer tournament, where the aim is to create teams of fully autonomous, cooperative robots that exhibit advanced competitive behaviors and strategies. RoboCup’s stated mission is to field a team of humanoid robots capable of winning against their human World Cup counterparts by 2050.
RoboCup teams compete across nine different leagues to create and program robots able to meet a variety of challenges, from helping with domestic chores to assisting emergency responders.
“Student competitions such as RoboCup are a way to bring science to life, and an important vehicle to educate the engineers of tomorrow”, says Marcel Stakenborg, managing director at MathWorks in The Netherlands. “Building and programming autonomous robots engages students in solving real-world engineering problems while developing collaboration, time management and leadership skills. Project-based learning initiatives such as RoboCup give the next generation of engineers and scientists hands-on experience using industry-standard tools. It helps them to be better prepared for their future careers.”
The 2012 winning team from Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) used MATLAB and Simulink to develop their robot. Associate Professor René van de Molengraft for TU/e: “The team is really excited to be returning to RoboCup, as it gives our students the opportunity to apply the skills they are learning in the classroom in a series of real-world scenarios. Access to tools such as MATLAB and Simulink was key to our success last year, enabling us to streamline every aspect of our development and collaborate more efficiently as a team. We’re hoping that MathWorks will help us to victory again this year!”
As the host for RoboCup 2013, René van de Molengraft says: “Securing the support of high tech companies such as MathWorks is vital to maintaining the momentum and significance of this event. Having industry standard hardware and software at the teams’ disposal really pushes what they can achieve and enables young people to be a part of the evolution of robotics.”
MathWorks supports a variety of global and local student competitions, including EcoCAR2, Formula Student Germany, AUVSI RoboBoat and RoboSub, and EducEco, all of which focus on giving students first-hand experience in collaborating with a team in their use of advanced tools, such as MATLAB and Simulink, as to create solutions to specific, real-world problems. MathWorks also holds its own contests such as the UK Student Robot Challenge which took place in March. More information on MathWorks support for student competitions is available at http://www.mathworks.com/academia/student-competitions/
RoboCup is an international scientific initiative with the goal to advance the state of the art of intelligent robots. When established in 1997, the original mission was to field a team of robots capable of winning against the human soccer World Cup champions by 2050. While that mission remains, RoboCup has since expanded into other relevant application domains based on the needs of modern society.