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CICS Students Score at International Robot Soccer Tournament

CICS students with their team leader, Joydeep Biswas, at RoboCup 2017

A team of College of Information and Computer Sciences (CICS) graduate and undergraduate students won their lower bracket tournament in RoboCup 2017, an international tournament of robots playing soccer held July 27-31 in Nagoya, Japan.

Assistant professor Joydeep Biswas, the team's faculty advisor, says, "This is the first year that UMass Amherst competed. Our campus was represented at the competition by the UMass MinuteBots team in the 'small size' league. With a solid performance and dramatic improvements during the competition, the MinuteBots won the lower bracket tournament. While we were unable to make it to the upper bracket tournament from the round robins, we won all our games in the lower bracket tournament, including the final game by a score of 3-0."

According to organizers, the international RoboCup community fosters the development of intelligent robots by "defining and executing competitions that are used by scientists and students from all over the world to test and demonstrate their robots in attractive, realistic scenarios." The event drew more than 3,500 research scientists and developers from more than 40 countries. It serves as an educational and entertainment opportunity for the public to enjoy learning about cutting-edge science and technologies.

Biswas adds that the UMass Amherst students built their team of all-new robots from scratch. "They were all designed, machined and assembled right in our lab, and the entire software stack as well. I am very proud of our team and congratulate all members on their victories. UMass Amherst got a lot of visibility. Many enthusiastic and interested international students, as well as some from Massachusetts, came up to us because they were excited to see us there."

Team members are CICS Ph.D. students Spencer Lane, Jarrett Holtz, Sadegh Rabiee and Samer Nashed, M.S. student David Balaban and undergraduates Edward Schneeweiss and Kyle Vedder.

Photo caption: (from left) Edward Schneeweiss, Spencer Lane, Joydeep Biswas, Kyle Vedder, Jarrett Holtz and David Balaban. Not pictured: Sadegh Rabiee and Samer Nashed.