The rUNSWift team is mainly populated by undergraduate students in the School of Computer Science and Engineering. While there have been students involved in their third year, almost all the students have entered the RoboCup competition as the main part of their 4th year thesis.
RoboCup participation takes a large amount of time and effort, but is hugely rewarding. While students selected to be on the core team generally receive an all expenses paid international trip to the competition, this is minor compared to the sense of camaraderie and achievement amongst the team. Many teams have become firm friends and still get together several years after robocup. In this sense RoboCup is more like a club or society than an honours project. Having said that, there is a lot of pressure to succeed. This is a club that wants to win! We have been successful too - rUNSWift has been world champion more than any other team, and has had University Medallists on the team most years.
RoboCup is extremely competitive. We want students with high grades (generally at least a distinction average), but as important as grades is having students with the creativity and motivation to find new ways to win at robot soccer.
Because we want this extra creativity, we look at more than just your transcript when selecting the robocup team; we want to know if you can work with the robots. There are two normal ways to demonstrate to us that you can work with the robots. The first is to complete the Robot Architectures course, COMP3431. The second is to work with us the summer before you wish to be on the RoboCup team. Most of the students who work with us over the summer are on a summer scholarship, but some also work with us unpaid because it's fun. Doing both is great!
The RoboCup international competition occurs around late June or early July each year. The team starts working in earnest in semester 1 each year. This means that you'll need to have learnt how to use the robots before then (see Pre-Requisites above).
In recent years, in order to allow themselves time to do a good job with the RoboCup team, we have had 4th year RoboCup students enrol in both Thesis A and Thesis B in semester 1. They then have their marks withheld, and complete their thesis document in their own time in semester 2. This may or may not be best for any particular student.
If you're interested in getting involved, talk to some of the students on past teams. Then come and talk to one of the staff. In particular, Brad Hall (bradh@cse), Claude Sammut (claude@cse), Bernhard Hengst (bernhardh@cse) and Maurice Pagnucco (morri@cse) are good staff members to talk to. We look forward to meeting you.
There are also other leagues of RoboCup that UNSW is involved with. These have their own timelines and requirements. Students are encouraged to contact Claude Sammut (claude@cse) for information about the RoboCup Rescue league.