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History

Team Information

The team Kouretes was founded in February 2006 by Prof. Michail G. Lagoudakis who joined the Technical University of Crete in September 2005. Team activities at this early stage where restricted to the four-legged league. In January 2007 Prof. Nikos Vlassis joined the Technical University of Crete. Under his leadership team activities were extended to the simulation league. The team is currently active in the Standard Platform League in both the simulated and the real robot tracks.

Team Name

According to Greek mythology, when Zeus was born on the mountain Ida in Crete, his mother Rhea was frightened that his father Cronus would hear him crying. Cronus made it practice to swallow and eat each of his children as soon as they were born to insure his safety. Rhea entrusted the guardianship of her son to the Daktyls (Fingers) of Ida, also known as the Cretan Kouretes. The Kouretes brothers dressed in armor would "fight" outside the cave where Zeus was hidden, clashing spears and shields and keeping time to a rhythmic stamping of their feet. These sounds drowned out the infant Zeus' cries and prevented his discovery by Cronus. In short and in ancient Greek: "Οἱ Κούρητες ἔνοπλοι ἐν τῷ ἄντρῳ τὸ βρέφος φυλάσσοντες τοῖς δόρασι τὰς ἀσπίδας συνέκρουον, ἵνα μὴ τῆς τοῦ παιδὸς φωνῆς ο Κρόνος ἀκούσῃ" (Apolodoro, Bibliotheca 1.5.4).

It is said that one of Kouretes named Herakles (perhaps the earliest embodiment of the later hero Herculis) originated the Olympic Games by instigating a race among his four "finger" brothers. Herakles was the "thumb", while his brothers were Paionaios (fore finger), Epimedes (center finger), Iasios (ring finger), and Idas (little finger).

Team Participation

The team had its first exposure to RoboCup at the RoboCup 2006 event in Bremen, Germany, where it participated in the Technical Challenges of the Four-Legged league. At that time, Aibo programming by the team was done exclusively in an interpreted language, the Universal Real-Time Behavior Interface (URBI), without any use of existing code.

Subsequent work led to the participation of the team in the Four-Legged league of the RoboCup German Open 2007 competition in Hannover, Germany. The software architecture of the team was developed on the basis of previously released code by GT2004 and SPQRL 2006. The tournament included ten teams from all over the world. Kouretes reached the quarterfinals round, where it was defeated by the 2006 World Champion Nubots. The team ranked in the 7th/8th place in a tournament featuring the team's first win and first goals.

In Spring 2007, the team began working with the newly-released Microsoft Robotics Studio (MSRS). The team's software was developed from scratch exclusively in C# and included all the required services, as well as the motion configuration files for the simulated RobuDog robot of RoboSoft. The team's participation in the MSRS Simulation Challenge at RoboCup 2007 in Atlanta led to the placement of the team at the 2nd place worldwide bringing the first trophy home. The tournament involved nine teams from all over the world; Kouretes was the only European participating team.

In the most recent RoboCup 2008 competition in Suzhou, China the team participated in all divisions of the Standard Platform league (Aibo robots, Nao robots, Nao Webots simulation, Nao MSRS simulation). The team's efforts were rewarded in the best possible way: 3rd place in Nao league, 1st place in the MSRS simulation, and among the top 8 teams in the Webots simulation.
 
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