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CMDragons Take Chinese Team Down to the Wire in RoboCup Final
July 02, 2013

The CMDragons, Carnegie Mellon University’s team in the RoboCup small-size league, performed impressively in the finals of the RoboCup 2013 world championship on June 30 in Eindhoven, The Netherlands, before finally falling to the ZJUNlict team from China’s Zhejiang University by the narrowest of margins in a shoot out.

Manuela Veloso, professor of computer science, said the team faced fierce competition not only in the final, but also in the quarter final and semi-final contests. In the final, the two teams were deadlocked, 2-2, at the end of regulation as well as following overtime play. In the shoot-out, the CMU robots scored on all but one of the penalty shots, giving Zheijiang a 7-6 edge. All the scores and RoboCup event information are available at, and

“We came in second place, in the closest possible way to first,” Veloso said. “The team from China even asked us to go up on the stage together with them for the award ceremony.”

The team is led by Joydeep Biswas, a Robotics Institute Ph.D. student, and includes Juan Pablo Mendoza, also a robotics Ph.D. student; Danny Zhu, a Ph.D. student in the Computer Science Department, and computer science undergraduates Ben Choi, Steve Klee, and Alex Etling. Mike Licitra, formerly a senior engineer at NREC, provided the robots’ design and hardware.

“Our CMDragons team was remarkably new, with new low-level skills and tactics, dynamic planning, a great goalie and defense, new robots and the best attacker robot ever,” Veloso said. She gave special thanks to Biswas, “for having literally built, polished, calibrated and maintained each of the total eleven robots. Simply remarkable.”

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