IEEE Winnipeg Section


Robotics and Control Chapter Seminar



Use of Computer Vision in Robotics Competitions: A Case Study for Humanoid Robots


Thursday, January 20, 2010 at 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM


E3 – 262 EITC, Senate Chambers, Fort Garry Campus, University of Manitoba


Dr. Jacky Baltes and Dr. Chi Tai Cheng
Autonomous Agents Lab
Department of Computer Science
University of Manitoba


In recent years, international robotic soccer competitions such as FIRA WorldCup and the RoboCup competition have greatly gained in popularity. They provide a challenge problem for many areas of mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and computer science in a fun and motivating format. Since many teams rely on cameras to detect objects such as the goals, balls, and opponents, there has been significant research into practical real-time computer vision methods by many teams. The talk will focus on the methods that robotic soccer teams have developed to solve computer vision problems in the robotic games domains. Various developments for both global vision as well as local vision based approaches will be discussed. Open problems and current approaches to solving these problems will be highlighted. The talk will also discuss how the FIRA HuroCup competition (an octathlon of robot-dash, marathon, penalty kick, lift and carry, basket-ball, obstacle run, weight-lifting, and a climbing wall) attempts to maintain relevance for researchers by providing a continuously evolving set of benchmark problem for small humanoid robots. The talk will also give an overview of recent developments of Archie, the only 1.4m tall walking humanoid robot in Canada.

Speaker Bio:

Dr. Jacky Baltes is a Full Professor in the department of computer science at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada. Dr. Baltes was born and grew up in Munich, Germany. He is a three time national champion in speed skating and participated at the 1984 and 1988 Olympic games. Dr. Baltes received his Ph.D. in 1996 from the University of Calgary, Canada in the area of artificial intelligence and machine learning. For his Ph.D., Dr. Baltes developed a learning multi-strategy planning system called DoLittle. From 1996 to 2002, Dr. Baltes worked as a senior lecturer in the department of computer science at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. In 2002, Dr. Baltes moved to the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada. Dr. Baltes and his students have participated at international robotics competitions for robotic soccer and urban search and rescue since 1998. His teams won honours in the FIRA HuroCup humanoid robot competition (HuroCup 2002, 2003,and 2004), RoboCup E-League (1st Place 2004), and RoboCup humanoid league (2002, 2003). Dr. Baltes has published extensively and was on the program committee for several international conferences. He is a vice president of the Federation International of Robotic Soccer (FIRA), chair of the International HuroCup competition. He is an executive committee member of the International RoboCup Federation and co-chair of the RoboCup humanoid league competition. He is also a a member of the steering committee of the and the International Robot Olympiad (IRO).

Dr. Cheng graduated from Tamkung University, Tamshui, Taiwan in 2008. After spending his mandatory year with the Taiwanese military, he joined Institute for Information Industry, Taipei, Taiwan. In the summer of 2010, he joined the Autonomous Agents Lab at the University of Manitoba to work on small and large humanoid robots. Dr. Cheng has been the team leader of several winning teams at the FIRA and RoboCup robot competitions.


Free, All are welcome.


  • IEEE Computer & Computational Intelligence Chapter
  • IEEE Robotics and Control Chapter
  • Institute of Industrial Mathematical Sciences


For questions or more information contact Nariman Sepehri, at 474-9821.


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