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The UPennalizers is the research-oriented RoboCup team at the University of Pennsylvania. We participate in domestic and international robot soccer robocups every year. We do research to advance our skills and knowledge in robotics under the supervision of Dr. Camillo J. ("CJ") Taylor , in affiliation with General Robotics, Automation, Sensing and Perception (GRASP) Laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania School of Engineering and Applied Science.

  • 1999-

    Two years after the first international RoboCup, this robot soccer team was formed and began stepping up to the challenges put forth by the robocup

  • -2006

    While the league was still utilizing four-legged Sony Aibos, the UPennalizers made the quarterfinal rounds every year

  • 2009-

    The team reformed and returned to begin competing in the Standard Platform League with Aldebaran Nao robots, taking on bipedal motion alongside improved vision techniques and advanced behavior control

  • -2019

    The team transitioned to being entirely student-run and self-funded.


We participate in RoboCup and RoboCup U.S. Open every year.

RoboCup 2018

USOpen 2018

RoboCup 2017

U.S. Open 2017

RoboCup 2016

Robocup 2015

RoboCup 2010

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We believe robotics competition is a great way to demonstrate scientific and engineering solutions in practical settings and also to connect robotics research with broader audiences. We are currently working on some exciting research projects in preparation for RoboCup 2018.


Our team is studying the foundations in kinematics and dynamics for humanoid robot locomotion and for kick, squat, dive and get-up motions. We apply reinforcement learning to improving the gait of the humanoid robots.


Our robots use cameras as primary sensors for localization and object detection. We are focusing on light-invariant feature extraction and fast object detection using a combination of traditional computer vision algorithms and deep learning.


Our behavior projects range from lower level single robot behavior (path planning and decision making) to team coordination (position and role calculation, coordination in a multi-agent system, work distribution).

Research topics

  • Real time lighting invariant perception
  • Robust and natural locomotion
  • Dynamic coordination in multi-agent robotics soccer team

  • Interested in these topics? Our team is currently recruiting highly motivated and qualified students. Prospective students please email upennalizers@gmail.com with a CV and a short paragragh describing your interests in the project(s). More details here.

    Our Team

    Here are the 2019 Upennalizers members

    Ryan Walsh

    R&D Team Lead, Vision and Locomotion
    Masters in Systems Science and Engineering '19'

    Abdullah Zaini

    R&D Team Lead, Behavior
    Computer Science and Cognitive Science '20

    Ellie Cohen

    Management Team Lead
    Systems Science and Engineering '21'

    Stacey Chen

    Computer Science ’22

    Natasha Dilamani

    Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics ‘22

    Justin Hong

    Computer Science '22

    Shannon Lin

    Electrical Engineering + Healthcare Management & Policy '21

    Faazilah Mohamed

    Cognitive Science and Computer Science '19

    Pranav Panganamamula

    Computer Engineering ‘21

    Briana Cieniewicz

    Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics ‘21

    Michelle Paolicelli

    Materials Science and Engineering ‘22

    Grace Wu

    Electrical Engineering ‘21


    How Sponsors Help

  • Registration fees for RoboCup
  • Purchasing and repairing robots
  • Travel to the international competition(s)
  • Software licenses and research equipment
  • T-shirts and outreach
  • Summer research stipends

  • Interested in sponsoring us? Email upennalizers@gmail.com to learn more!

    Contact Us

    Our team does not have open positions at this moment. However, we are always open to highly motivated and qualified students. We are specifically looking for students who are interested in one of our current research topics: Prospective students please email upennalizers@gmail.com with a CV and a short paragragh* describing your interests in the project(s). Due to high volumne of inquiries, we apologize that we are not able to reply to all emails.