We are in the finals of the German Open

Today was a long day for all teams.

The morning saw the remaining preliminary games (two per team). After we fixed an issue in the walking code, and added a motion to roll from the front to the back to be able to always get back up, we were quite optimistic that we would score either against the Hamburg Bit-Bots or the Bold Hearts. Unfortunately this bore no fruit. Though the robots had not to be taken out as often after a fall, they still did not hold the ball for a long time.

In the end, all the preliminary games ended 0:0, making it impossible to rank the teams in the group phase. The rule book has a provision for that case, saying that each team takes alternating penalty kick trials trying to score a goal. As this forbids entering the penalty area and no team is currently able to kick the ball over that distance (or at all), a new approach was decided upon. Five alternating trials would be hold, the first being a regular penalty kick, the second a modified penalty kick where the striker may enter the penalty area, the third trial would be judged based on the distance the ball is moved towards the goal, the fourth trial on the distance walked towards the goal and, if required, the fifth trial would be won by the team that walked the farthest (whatever direction).

In preparation of this phase, a check of our code revealed a nasty bug that we added yesterday. This turned out to be the reason the robot would walk away from the ball. Having fixed that, we went into the penalty trials quite optimistically. As expected, the first trial was no success as we can’t kick. However in the second trial we scored our first goal:

Before us, Photon also managed to score and so did Bold Hearts. Ranked on time, this made us first in group, followed by Photon and Bold Hearts. The fourth in the group turned out to be WF Wolves after they managed to move the ball farther towards the goal than the Hamburg Bit-Bots in the firth trial round. This meant we would be meeting WF Wolves in the semi-final.

In the semi-finals we started playing in the “bad” direction, where the grass’ “growing” direction makes it much harder to walk. This caused a lot of falls and ultimately no goal. However in the second half, playing with the grain, we finally managed to score. Our work on walking and stabilization payed out when we withstood direct contact with the large WF Wolves robot and Grace dribbled the ball close to the goal. When she lost the ball, Alan took over and finished the way into the Wolves’ goal.

In the other semi-final, Photon won against Bold Hearts by a technical goal, dribbling the ball 12cm farther under the modified penalty kick rules. We will meet Photon tomorrow in the finals.

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