In the Standard Platform League, soccer is played with a standardized robot platform, i.e. all teams use the same hardware and only differ in the software they develop. Until 2008, the standard platform was the four-legged robot Sony AIBO. For the sixth time at the RoboCup German Open, the humanoid robot Nao, manufactured by the company Aldebaran Robotics, is used as standard platform.
Nao is equipped with up to 25 actuated joints. In it's head, two cameras are integrated for perceiving the environment. In it's chest, sonar sensors can measure distances to other object on the field. In it's feet there are sensors to measure ground contact and the contact with the ball. Three accelerometers and two gyroscopes allow measuring the pose of the robot's torso. Teams of five robots play against each other on a 9 x 6 m² sized field. The robots are completely autonomous. However, through WLAN, they can communicate with each other and receive the decisions of the referee.
This year, there are two competitions in the Standard Platform League. On the one hand, there is the normal soccer competition, in which different teams play football against each other. For the first time, they are supported by a coach robot located at the field border that analyzes the game and makes tactical decisions. On the other hand, there is the new drop-in player competition, in which the opposing teams are randomly formed from robots from different research institutions. Thus robots have to cooperate with each other that run different software systems, which poses a particular challenge. In this new competition, the robot will be awarded to be the best player that was most successful in different team constellations and that presented itself as the best team player.
Dr. Thomas Röfer (DFKI Bremen)