BY EVAN WOOD
DIRECTOR OF ICT SERVICES
It’s not often that we get to say that ICC Sydney has been taken over by robots however, this is exactly what happened last month when we hosted the 2019 RoboCup.
Established in 1997, the original mission of the RoboCup was to field a team of robots capable of winning against the human soccer World Cup champions by 2050 and now, it is heralded as one of the world’s leading scientific initiatives.
For the 2019 RoboCup, over 2,000 competitors from over 40 countries descended on ICC Sydney to put their state-of-the-art robots to the test in an incredible spectacle.
More than 300 teams representing universities and research laboratories gathered in our Exhibition Centre to practice, train and compete in various robot leagues simultaneously.
This required an extremely robust and complex set of networking deliverables to support each team and their bespoke equipment requirements. Not only did we need to have the right technology set up in place for competitors but equally, we needed to provide the thousands of local and international spectators who came along as supporters with reliable internet connectivity.
We worked closely with the event organisers, with our first meeting two and a half years pre-event, to ensure a flawless execution of the event’s ICT requirements.
This entailed the ICC Sydney ICT team working alongside HP Aruba in setting up more than 100 wireless access points in the exhibition halls alone, with access points mounted at floor level with directional antennas situated strategically at each field of play for optimal radio frequency coverage. This augmented the existing 80 Access Points in the space which were designed to interoperate with each other.
It was also arranged for each team to have a designated area to prep, program, download and tune their robots. To make this possible, more than 400 network cables were installed and run back to 30 additional network switches on the floor.
To enable each team to isolate their traffic from one another, the network was split up into more than 1000 VLANS, delivering a functional and robust network security design. Working alongside partners HP Aruba and Aarnet, the competitors were delivered backhaul using ultra-high-speed links back to their educational establishments.
As a result of the meticulous planning, dedication and innovative solutions implemented by the ICC Sydney ICT team, and all partners involved, are proud to say we delivered an exciting an successful RoboCup.
Relishing a highly technical challenge, the team is now preparing for our next events, including MDRT Global Conference, CeBIT and the Australasian Gaming Expo, focusing on how we can provide the best possible ICT infrastructure and service for our clients.