Category Archives: Blog- Thunderbots FC

First Day of RoboCup

DSC00964It’s Thursday morning here in Germany, and we couldn’t tell you how excited we are about the first day of RoboCup! Our first match was against the third place winners of last year, ZJUNlict from Zhejiang University, China. We lost to them back then, and again today, but we won’t let the initial loss hurt our spirits. Well done ZJUNlict, we’ll get you next time!

In order to improve after each game we have one member record issues that they and other members see! These include the time at which the issue happened and a short description. After the match the team has a meeting and goes through all of the observations and discuss the source of the problem. Along with how or who is going to fix it.  

We followed this procedure after the game with ZJUNlict and solved some significant issues for our next game against RoboJackets from Georgia Tech, USA. And it worked! We proudly won 3-0 in what was a very solid game from both sides.

Team Photo with RoboJackets

Although it is a competition, RoboCup is truly an community. It’s friends and like-minded people working together to advance robotics and artificial intelligence, and is also an amazing time. It’s very common for teams to give a gifts to each other representing their home country or university. This year we are gifting thank-you cards signed by the team, and Canadian mini hockey sticks.

This year ZJUNlict gave us a truly beautiful matching set of a keyring and bookmark.

As the first official day of RoboCup, the crowds were a lot bigger than the previous days. It’s awesome to see all the fans!


Here’s to an amazing first day, and stay tuned for day two!

Road to RoboCup 2016


UBC Thunderbots has finally arrived in Leipzig, Germany for RoboCup 2016! The team departed YVR airport on Sunday and after 25+ hours traveling, including small exposition through Frankfurt during a layover, we finally checked into our hotel in Leipzig.

Fun fact: Despite only traveling for 25 hours, it took us 3 days to arrive at our hotel in Leipzig!

After 4 hours of sleep we are still more excited than exhausted as we prepare our robots for the start of the competition on Thursday.

Along with the usually tweaking and testing, we are eagerly awaiting a practice match against our long-time German friends ER-Force. We’re just about ready to test our robot’s new skills in a real match!

As Thursday approaches RoboCup 2016 is getting more and more active. Here are some snapshots of what RoboCup has to offer!

RoboCup@Home aims to create robots that will assist people in their own homes, whether it be vacuuming, taking care of the elderly, or to bring you cold drinks

A robot competing in RoboCup@Home

RoboCup Rescue is a league that makes search and rescue robots! They must be able to cross numerous difficult terrain in order to show versatility in rescue environments.  The course is currently being built from the ground up inside the convention centre.

Humanoid League creates soccer playing robots that move and look like humans! They come in all different shapes and are categorized into adult, teen, and kid size leagues.

Mid Size League robots are just like our larger siblings! The big difference is that they they have their own eyes. Each robot has its own camera that sees the field from its point of view, and they play with an official FIFA size soccer ball.

Mid size robots with moving with a ball

We hope you  enjoyed a small selection of what RoboCup has to offer this year, and are looking forward to RoboCup 2016 as much as we are.

Stay tuned for updates!

Welcome New Members!

After two weeks of recruiting, applications, and interviews, we would to welcome this year’s batch of new members!

Last Saturday, we had a fantastic time getting to know over 50 new members. Our new members range from various engineering backgrounds from first-years to masters students, as well as a few students studying computer science.

Our day consisted of a brief introduction to our Technical Lead (Scott Churchley), Admin Co-Leads (Paula Morales and Michaela Ragoonath), Electrical Lead (Ellis Su), Software Co-Leads (Kevin Zhang and James Petrie), and Mechanical Lead (Brian Wang), as well as the rest of our current team members. Each lead described their sub-team’s contributions towards Thunderbots and their overall goals for the year, followed by an explanation of our most important competition: RoboCup! We then broke up the new members into their designated sub-teams to further discuss the robots. Of course, we had to celebrate with some pizza and beverages! Take a look at some of the photos below:

Imagine Day 2015

UBC Thunderbots would like to start the year off with a big…


Our first official day of the 2015/2016 season has started and today also marks our first day of recruitment.

As one of the largest university orientations in British Columbia, Imagine Day brought about a wave of first year and transfer students to campus, giving us the perfect chance to showcase our team. We spent the majority of the day on Main Mall where we were able to interact with numerous students passing by. With our presentation board, cool souvenirs from our recent trip, and a live-action x-box demonstration, members from each sub-team were able to recruit over 200 UBC undergraduate and graduate students who showed great interest in our team!! We are extremely pumped for the coming year and we look forward to all your applications!

Imagine Day 2015If you missed the chance to talk to some of our members today but are still interested in applying, fear no more! Our application can be found here.

We will be making classroom appearances throughout the first two weeks of this term. We will also be making an appearance at the UBC EUS Student Teams BBQ on Wednesday, September 9th. Information on the location and time can be found here.


What time is it, you ask? According to our clock… it’s‪ #‎ThrowbackThursday‬ time! And what better way to spend your Thursday than to reminisce about our recent trip across the Pacific Ocean 🙂

Take a look at our recent recap video shown below, courtesy of our Admin, Paula!

(Be sure to watch it in 720p… Shout out to Mech Team Lead Brian Wang for letting us use his GoPro)

Back to Reality: Post-Robocup 2015

It has been a week since we arrived from China and we are already having travel withdrawals! Our journey back to Vancouver via Los Angeles was quite the adventure, but we managed to get back home safe and sound.

Robocup itself was a unique experience especially for those who were attending the competition for the first time. We brought a total of 15 members to China, 7 of which were new-comers. The team worked day and night to make sure our robots were in tip-top shape for our matches. Our robots performed to the best of their abilities, playing against some of the top teams in the league. Unfortunately, we were a few points short of making it into the finals. Regardless of the outcome, we acquired some valuable knowledge which will surely help us improve our robots in the coming year. We would like to congratulate those teams who made it through to the final matches… Well done! (Special shout-out to CM Dragons from Carnagie Mellon Univeristy for winning first place!)

Aside from Robocup, we experienced some aspects of the Chinese culture during our 10 days and found it rather interesting! We found it difficult to connect to the internet (hence the lack of blog posts) but we are making up for it with pictures! Highlights of our trip include taking the overnight train from Shanghai to Hefei, eating traditional Chinese-cuisine with our friends from ER-Force (Germany) and ZJUNlict (China), using  the intricate subway system in SHanghai, and visiting the Yuyuan Market before our flight to LA.

Now that we’re back in Vancouver, the team will meet for a Robocup debrief before taking a short break. Recruitment for new members begins in September on Imagine Day so stay tuned on how you can become a part of our team.

Now for long-awaited Robocup photos:

LMS_5255 LMS_5548LMS_5216 LMS_5660 LMS_5721 LMS_5772

Robocup 2015: Post-Round Robin Update

After two days of on-site preparations, we began the first day of round-robin against ZJUNlict and MCT Susano Logics. Both matches were played exceptionally well as all the teams were engaged in game.

During the second day of round-robin, Thunderbots played excellent games against Tigers Mannheim and RFC Cambridge, with a score of 10-0 in favour of our team against RFC Cambidge!

Here are some photos from the round-robin games!


UBC Thunderbots and ZJUNlict


UBC Thunderbots and MCT Susano Logics


UBC Thunderbots and Tigers Mannheim


Journey to Robocup 2015: Hefei, China

After 20+ hours of travelling, we finally arrived at our hotel in Hefei, China. Our team members were exhausted from the long journey, but that didn’t stop them from taking this photo with our friends from ER-Force!

Now the real journey begins as we spend the next two days setting up for the competition. Stay tuned for more updates!


Preparations for Robocup 2015

With less than one month until our biggest competition, the pressure is on. Members of our team have spent endless days working on our little robots to make sure they are prepared for this year’s competition. Despite the pressure, we are also very much excited to be travelling to Hefei, China. When asked what they were looking forward to for Robocup 2015, members responded with these statements:

Paula M. (Admin): This will be my first ever Robocup competition so I’m looking forward to meeting all the different teams. I’m also excited about the competition itself and getting the full Robocup experience.”

Tiffany T. (Mechanical): “Suuuuper excited about the 13 hour flight…. But in all seriousness, I’m excited about the competition.”

James P. (Software): “Uhh… seeing the robots actually… robot?”

Brian W. (Mechanical): “What am I excited for… hmm… I don’t know actually. I’ve been to three competitions already, but I’m really looking forward to seeing the other teams and their improvement.”

Ellis S. (Electrical): ” FOOOOOOOOOOD. I’m ready!”

Sarah H. (Software): “I’m really excited to go to China and check out a new country!”

Scott C. (Admin): “Experiencing the awesome craziness of RoboCup for the first time.”

Somik G. (Software): ” This is not a vacation. We’re going there to win.”

What are you most excited about for Robocup 2015? Let us know in the comments below.

Thunderbots Member of the Month: Ellis Su

During the month of February, UBC Thunderbots had the privilege of working with several amazing companies and programs that allowed us to showcase our world renowned robots! We had various T-Bot members volunteer for these demos, including our latest Thunderbots Member of the Month…

Ellis Su


Department: Electrical  Engineering
Year: 3rd
Sub-team: Electrical

How long have you been in UBC Thunderbots?
3 years!

What made you want to join T-Bots?
“How do robots play soccer?”

What’s your favourite part about being on T-Bots?
Everybody’s awesome! I learned so much from everyone. I also got to meet people from all over the world during the competition, which is super exciting and enriching.

What’s your most memorable moment?
That time when one of our robots blew up a few days before we were going to leave for the competition.

Other than UBC Thunderbots, what other hobbies do you have?
I like skating and badminton a lot. I also love reading about all kinds of things, from strange stories to new technologies.