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Robot Soccer: A Platform For Systems Engineering

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1999 Annual Conference


Charlotte, North Carolina

Publication Date

June 20, 1999

Start Date

June 20, 1999

End Date

June 23, 1999



Page Count


Page Numbers

4.452.1 - 4.452.10

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Paper Authors

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Raffaello D'Andrea

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session: Mobile Robots and Interdisciplinary Design 2220

Robot Soccer: A Platform for Systems Engineering Raffaello D’Andrea Cornell University


This paper describes a project course at Cornell University aimed at educating students in Systems Engineering. The multidisciplinary nature of the course is a great vehicle for highlighting some of the key components of Systems Engineering, including System Design, Systems and Technology Integration, Systems Analysis, and System Engineering Management. The class is comprised of twenty-four students from Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Operations Research and Industrial Engineering, and Computer Science.

I. Introduction

As engineering systems become more and more complex, there is an increasing need from industry for engineers who not only have expertise in a particular engineering discipline, but who also possess diverse interdisciplinary skills, can integrate system components, can ensure total system operability, and can understand the various economic forces in the marketplace. This skill set and process is often referred to as Systems Engineering (SE).

In order to effectively teach SE principles to students, a project course that embodies many of the key elements of SE, is being developed. The project entails the construction of fully autonomous, fast moving robots which will work together as a team in an effort to compete against similar teams of robots in a robotic soccer match This yearly competition, known as the Robot World Cup Initiative (or simply RoboCup), is described below.

The RoboCup is an international research and education initiative. It is an attempt to foster robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) research by providing a standard problem where wide range of technologies can be integrated and examined, as well as being used for integrated project-oriented education. Due to its international appeal and suitability to this task, the platform chosen was soccer. In order for a robot team to actually play soccer, various technologies must be incorporated including: robotics, sensor fusion, design principles of autonomous agents, multi-agent collaboration, strategy acquisition, and real-time reasoning. A description of this competition may be found at, and the rules are briefly summarized in the Appendix.

The soccer matches are played on a regulation size table-tennis table by teams composed of five robots. Similar to the real game of soccer, the objective is to score more goals than the opponent subject to well-defined rules and regulations. The robots are permitted to communicate to each

D'Andrea, R. (1999, June), Robot Soccer: A Platform For Systems Engineering Paper presented at 1999 Annual Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina.

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