Tag Archives: Soccer

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:


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

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: Dean Kalla

Hello everyone, UBC Thunderbots is pleased to announce our newest Thunderbots Member of the Month…

Dean Kalla

Member of the Month - Dean Kalla

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

How long have you been in UBC Thunderbots?
Too long… Just kidding, I’ve been on the team for about a year and a half.

What made you want to join T-Bots?
Robots are cool.

What’s your favourite part about being on T-Bots?
I really enjoy all the competitions and competing with other teams all over the world. It’s fun and I don’t mind working under pressure.

What’s your most memorable moment?
I think the trip to Cyprus last year was quite memorable. I got to meet a lot of cool people and we placed Second overall in the competition. I did some on-the-spot maintenance during the competition too!

Other than UBC Thunderbots, what other hobbies do you have?
I have a lot of DIY projects that I like to work on. I’m currently working on a sustainability project. Other than that, I like to go fishing.