A research team from the Institute for Big Data Analytics at Dalhousie University won gold in the largest artificial intelligence soccer competition, highlighting Canada’s AI innovation in team robotics technology

HALIFAX, NS, July 28, 2021 / CNW / – The Dalhousie University Robotics team CYRUS announces its victory against the reigning world champion, Japan-based HELIOS2021 and is the first Canadian team to secure first place in the international RoboCup competition. Led by a research assistant Nader Zarec and PhD student Mahtab Sarvmaili, both at the Faculty of Computer Science, the team used a variety of AI and machine learning models to train autonomous “players” in various positions. Intelligent programming enabled the robots to work and play together, often mimicking the behavior of the world’s best football teams and players.

CYRUS team logo (CNW group / CYRUS)

RoboCup, a global competition that switched to a fully remote-controlled model in 2021, uses soccer simulations to advance robotics and AI research. Leveraging the rapid acceleration of AI research and robotics innovation, the competition aims to train a team of fully autonomous humanoid robots to win a soccer game against the winner of the recent World Cup by 2050.

“This is an incredible achievement for Team CYRUS and for Dalhousie,” says Dr. Stan Matwin, Canada Research Chair and Director of the Institute for Big Data Analytics. “It shows, that Nova Scotia is really groundbreaking in the areas of AI and machine learning research. “

While these methods represent new ways to play and consume sports, especially at a time when personal activity has largely ceased, the team is using their research to help people improve their soccer skills by working with the Halifax Wanderers and helping them improve their soccer skills from Dalhousie University University soccer teams. In particular, this emerging project will help teams better understand their players and team dynamics through data analytics, using some of the AI ​​methodologies developed for RoboCup.

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Outside of football, CYRUS research is critical and is used to advance the solutions to many real world problems. By highlighting relationships between teams, effective tactical play styles and mobilizing teams towards a common goal, the results of CYRUS can be directly transferred to support other team sports as well as police, military and emergency teams.

“The focus and innovation of Canadian AI and robotics research has grown steadily, but CYRUS ‘ability to secure the championship is a clear indication of our national and provincial excellence in this area of ​​research,” says Mahtab Sarvmaili, PhD student at from Dalhousie University Faculty of Computer Science. “The team looks forward to taking our success to the next level and not only supporting our local sports teams, but also using our technology nationally to support our emergency responders and tactical teams.”

More information is available at www.dal.ca. The final round of RoboCup 2021 can be viewed here.

CYRUS is an AI-based team from from Dalhousie University Institute for Big Data Analytics, built by the PhD student of the Faculty of Computer Science Mahtab Sarvmaili and a senior researcher Nader Zarec. Founded in 2012, the team has participated in robotics competitions around the world for the past nine years, using a variety of AI and machine learning models that can be translated into a variety of applications such as computer games; autonomous robots; Training of sports teams, the police or the military, as well as search and rescue operations in the event of natural disasters.

Nader Zare and Mahtab Sarvmaili from the masterful AI robotics team at Dalhousie University, CYRUS (CNW Group / CYRUS)

Nader Zare and Mahtab Sarvmaili from the masterful AI robotics team at Dalhousie University, CYRUS (CNW Group / CYRUS)




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