FIRA RoboWorld Congress 2009 and FIRA RoboWorld Cup 2009 will this year be held in Incheon, Korea from October 16 ~ 18. In fourteen years, the annually held FIRA RoboWorld Cup has ridden a few rollercoasters. While the event was carried on by the audiences’ shouts and cries, reminiscent of the actual 2006 World Cup audience in Dortmund, the terrorist alarms and heavy security killed the atmosphere of the event last year in Qingdao. The event preview meeting suggested that the RoboWorld Cup and Congress this year will return its high spirited atmosphere by concurrently holding them with the Global Fair & Festival 2009 in Incheon.
The Global Fair & Festival is scheduled to be held from August 7 to October 25. If foreign visitors keep this in mind when scheduling a visit, a trip to FIRA RoboWorld Congress and RoboWorld Cup Korea 2009 may bring something extra during the time of stay. The RoboWorld Cup was originally initiated by Korea to foster a social culture environment to realize the One Household- One Robot Era. The Intelligent-model Robot has been selected as one of Korea's most promising future growth engine industries to pave the way toward achieving a US$30,000 national income era. With many other associated events held with the Global Fair & Festival 2009, this RoboWorld Cup is expected to contribute to boosting Korea's national brand image by publicizing RoboWorld Cup's performance and vision for the coming years.
Research and Show
"This year's RoboWorld Cup will serve as a good opportunity to acquaint the world with Korea's cutting-edge robot technology and international leadership, as robot soccer's popularity that holds FIRA headquarters. It will also further the national brand as a science technology power," said FIRA President Kim Jong-hwan. He is a professor of the Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Sciences in the Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology (KAIST). He continued by saying, “We further hope to establish a brand new sports entertainment culture by hosting healthy soccer games like this where visitors can be given an opportunity to interact with the robots.” Perhaps in ten years, people may go to robotic soccer games on Sunday afternoons alternating it with baseball games or horse racing.
Pick and Choose
The RoboWorld Cup has been held 13 times to date since it started at KAIST in 1995. It has established itself as a World Cup of the state-of-the-art science technology field, in which around 30 member countries worldwide take part, Kim pointed out. The 14th FIRA RoboWorld Cup Korea 2009 consists of six robot soccer tournaments: HuroCup (Humanoid Robot Soccer Tournament), KheperaSot (Khepera Robot Soccer Tournament), MiroSot (Micro-Robot Soccer Tournament), NaroSot (Nano-Robot Soccer Tournament), RoboSot (Autonomous Robot Soccer Tournament), SimuroSot (Simulated Robot Soccer Tournament), and AMiRESot. The rules and qualification requirements in detail will continuously be updated to be announced through www.fira2009.org.
The highlight of this year’s tournaments would be the Humanoid World Cup,” forecasted President Kim Jong-whan. While the robots in other tournaments move by wheels, humanoid robots with two legs will be playing in this tournament. The participating humanoid robot must be shorter than 150 cm and weigh less than 30 kg. Three robots are required to play soccer, while the rest can choose to participate in tournaments including marathons, sprints, weight lifting, basketball games, and obstacle races.
Professor Kim has recently been invited to be a special guest speaker at the TTI/Vanguard in Singapore regarding his recent development of the Cyber Physical Robotic System (CPRS) concept robot. Rity is a robot with a genome. TTI/Vanguard is a technology conference series for senior-level executives which is mostly restricted to membership companies only. President Kim expects to also share with them the RoboWorld and RoboCongress to further promote the global awareness of this event.
The World’s First Virtual Robot with Genes, “Rity”
Rity is the world’s first robot with genes. It has the total of 1,764 genes. The personality of Rity is decided by its genetic code combination. Sometimes it can be happy, sad, or even mad. But using the evolution algorithm, the personality of Rity can be changed.
KAIST’s electrical engineering team, under the supervision of Professor Kim Jong-Hwan, has developed the evolution algorithm which can change the personality of robots.
The team has selected the robot called Rity which is a 3D virtual robot in a computer. In 2005, it was widely known as the first robot with artificial genes. The robot has 1,764 genes with 3 types of genetic codes; F, I, and B. Then, 14 artificial chromosomes were created using the genes. The robot was designed to have a personality based on the manifestation of genes, but it was difficult to assign each manifestation. The question was how the robot could evolve like humans.
The engineering team has developed the algorithm that emulates human evolution by using mutations and the manifestation of genes. The team explained that it took 3,000 generations using the human evolution algorithm to get the personality they want from Rity. But it only took 12 hours to emulate the process.
Rity can recognize its owner by webcam and show its emotions by wagging its tail. It can also react to 47 different stimuli such as light, sound, and temperature. It recognizes one mouse click as petting, and a double mouse click as spanking.
“We have successfully implemented the technology that can change the personality of virtual robots by user desire and need,” explained Professor Kim. “The team is planning to apply the technology into a humanoid robot to study more about the personality of robots using genes.”
The research was published in the May edition of IEEE Transaction on System, Man, and Cybernetics.