The UT Austin Villa team won 3rd prize at the RoboCup@Home 2017 competition in Nagoya, in the category of Domestic Standard Platform League.
RoboCup is an international scientific initiative with the goal to advance the state of the art of intelligent robots through competitions. The RoboCup@Home league aims to develop service and assistive robot technology with high relevance for future personal domestic applications. A set of benchmark tests is used to evaluate the robots' abilities and performance in a realistic home environment setting, the competition arena looked a bit like 4 identical IKEA apartments. Robots were tasked with things like, unpacking groceries, setting/cleaning a table, recognizing and interacting with people in the environment.
The Domestic Standard Platform League has as a standard platform the Toyota Human Support Robot (HSR), a mobile manipulation service robot that all the teams use so as to standardize the hardware and focus the competition on advances in AI/software/control. Other US institutions participating in this league include: UC San Diego, Northeastern, and Berkeley. Three of these teams qualified to compete in Japan (UT Austin, UCSD and Northeastern). The UT Austin Villa team was the only US team to advance to the second stage of the competition.
The UT Austin Villa team is made up of 5 professors across 3 departments, and a team of 24 postdocs, PhD, MS, and undergrad students:
Principal Investigators: Prof. Ray Mooney, Prof. Scott Niekum, Prof. Luis Sentis, Prof. Peter Stone, Prof. Andrea Thomaz
Team leader: Justin Hart (postdoc)
Postdocs: Jivko Sinapov
Graduate students: Nicolas Brissonneau, Yuchen Cui, Taylor Kessler Faulkner, Reymundo (Alex) Gutierrez, Steven Jens Jorgensen, Minkyu Kim, Akanksha Saran, Daniel Brown, Ajinkya Jain, Prikyanka Khante
Undergraduate students: Nick Walker, Kathryn Baldauf, Rachel Chen, Rodolfo Corona, Rolando Fernandez, Dylan Goodman, Yuqian Jiang, Justin Rubio,, Taylor Schmidt, Rishi Shah, Benjamin Singer, Meera Wakim