(logo by Janette Forte)
This is the official site of the UT Austin Villa 3D Simulation team from the Department of Computer Science at the University of Texas at Austin.

This page provides information on a kicking engine which was an important component in UT Austin Villa winning the 2011 RoboCup 3D simulation competition. Results from the competition, including videos of game action, are linked off the UT Austin Villa homepage. The remainder of this page focuses only on the kicking engine.

For the 2011 RoboCup 3D simulation competition UT Austin Villa used a kick engine to perform different kicks. The kicks were designed by defining waypoints relative to the ball for the foot to reach along its kicking trajectory. Cubic Hermite splines are then used to compute the path for the foot to follow as it moves between the waypoints. Before executing a kick, the robot first checks to see if its foot can reach all the points in the kicking motion trajectory through the use of inverse kinematics. The positions of the waypoints relative to the ball were hand-tuned and then optimized through the CMA-ES algorithm. Below are videos of the system in action.

Different Kicks

Different kicks used by the kick engine.
Download video: mp4

Kick Optimization

Optimization run of a forward kick. The fitness of the agent is determined by how far it can kick the ball forward averaged over ten kick attempts. The agent fails the kick attempt and receives a negative reward if it runs into the ball before kicking it or takes too long trying to line up the kick. The optimization is run in simulation time which is much faster than real time.
Download video: mp4

For any questions, please contact Patrick MacAlpine.