Beginning today and continuing through Sunday, Bowdoin's own Northern Bites (NB) will host the 2011 RoboCup U.S. Open for the Standard Platform League in Watson Arena. This is the third consecutive year that the College has hosted the tournament.

Bowdoin's team of 10 students will compete against the UPennalizers (University of Pennsylvania), the CMurs (Carnegie Mellon), and the WPI Warriors (Worcester Polytechnic Institute) in games of four-on-four robotic soccer, each comprised of two 10-minute halves. Teams will compete using identical Aldebaran Nao humanoid robots.

The robots' operation is fully autonomous; they are controlled by neither computers nor humans. "We can score on an empty net right now," said NB senior member Jack Morrison '11.

Morrison also described this weekend's U.S. Open as a warm-up for the RoboCup World Championship, which will take place in Istanbul, Turkey this July. In 2007, the team won the World Championship.

The Northern Bites will open against the CMurfs at 7 p.m. on Friday, before taking on the UPennalizers at 11 a.m. on Saturday morning. Semi-final matches will take place on Saturday evening, and Sunday will feature the championship match.