Service robots from the NimbRo team win the German Open 2024

News RoboCup@Home german open - Lamarr Institute for Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI)

The NimbRo Team led by Lamarr’s Chair for Embodied AI Prof. Dr. Sven Behnke emerged victorious at the RoboCup German Open for service robots in Kassel. The competition took place between April 18th-20th and in it, NimbRo’s service robots achieved the highest score in the @Home league during the conducted tests. They convinced the judges of their victory in the final via their outstanding ability to navigate autonomously, grasp and deposit objects, and interact with people through a speech-dialogue system. The TIAGo++ service robots were developed in the Autonomous Intelligent Systems research group at the Institute of Computer Science of the University of Bonn in cooperation with the Lamarr Institute.

The RoboCup is the largest annual European competition for intelligent autonomous service robots in the @Home league. Its goal is to develop assistance robots for everyday environments, such as supporting individuals in need of assistance. The robots’ capabilities are evaluated through a series of tests in a realistic home environment. Emphasis is placed on intuitive human-robot-interactions through speech and body language, swift and safe navigation in unstructured everyday environments, and object manipulation.

TIAGo++ is a mobile robot with a flexible chassis and two arms. It perceives its environment using cameras, laser scanners, and a microphone, and controls its 23 motors and a speaker to autonomously perform the assistance tasks. This involves utilizing methods from AI research such as image understanding, speech understanding, motion planning, and dialogue systems.

The given tasks were very diverse. Robots were required to greet guests and enforce house rules, store groceries and set a breakfast table, as well as serve guests in a restaurant and tidy up the kitchen. After all tasks in the span of two days, NimbRo was already leading the competition with 3331 points, followed by ToBI (University of Bielefeld) with 2445 points.

In the final, the NimbRo robot demonstrated indoor navigation and the use of a foundation model for object recognition in the real world and multimodal human-robot interaction, including a speech-based dialogue to assist individuals in preparing dinner. This demonstration highly impressed the jury, composed of selected experts and other team leaders, and NimbRo won the competition with an overall score of 86.

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