Call for Applications for Participation 2018

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Call for Applications for Participation

RoboCup 2018 Standard Platform League

spl.robocup.org

Saturday 16th June through Friday 22nd June 2018 (Montréal, Canada)

http://www.robocup2018.org

RoboCup is an international initiative that fosters research and education in Robotics and Artificial Intelligence through a variety of competitions (RoboCupSoccer, RoboCupRescue, RoboCup@Home, RoboCupJunior) involving mostly multi-robot systems. RoboCup currently includes a number of different robot soccer leagues that focus on different research challenges.

The Standard Platform League (SPL) is characterized using an identical robot platform by all the teams. Participating researchers focus on algorithmic development for fully autonomous robots, i.e., robots that operate with no external control. The SPL at RoboCup 2018 will use V5 (Maybe also V6, but currently no final decision has been made) or older versions of the NAO humanoid robot manufactured by SoftBank Robotics. The SPL robot soccer team competition games at RoboCup 2018 will be played indoor and outdoor between teams of five robots on a 6m x 9m playing surface. Teams should be able to play on a randomly assigned indoor or outdoor field within one hour.

The RoboCup 2018 SPL will host both a team competition and a mixed teams competition.

The team competition will consist of more games for most teams than in recent years. We expect to qualify 24 teams. The structure from 2017 will be used and extended in the team competition to allow all teams to play more games and against teams with similar skill levels. See Appendix A.3 of the preliminary rulebook for more details.

Teams applying for the team competition may also apply for the mixed team competition. Each mixed team will consist of two teams. Mixed teams will play 6v6 games on the normal SPL field. Only 4 or 6 mixed teams will be selected to compete at RoboCup 2018. Teams, who participated in 2017, are encouraged to select another partner then in 2017. See Appendix B of the preliminary rulebook for more details.

Qualification

All interested teams must submit an original qualification document. For the qualification document to be considered, it must (1) be no longer than 6 pages and (2) include all the following information in sections with the specified headings:

  1. Team Information: the team name, the team leader(s), and the university/company affiliation(s) of the team
  2. Mixed Teams: If the team is interested in participating in the mixed teams competition, indicate the name of the partner team, the proposed mixed team name, and the proposed mixed team jersey colour. Include a short note about infrastructure plans as well as why this team and the proposed partner wish to perform as a mixed team.
  3. Code Usage: acknowledge the team’s use of any other team’s code (1) previously from 2015 to present and (2) anticipated at RoboCup 2018. If code is used from other teams, is this code integrated into a code base that is mainly designed by the applying team? If not, describe in detail the ‘research publishable’ significant advancements to a module the applying team has made to the other team’s code release and what advancements the team is currently pursuing. A module is a larger part of the code base, that has to be changed significantly. Changing or implementing a behaviour is not a significant change. If the applying team does not use any other team’s code, state so.
  4. Past History: provide game results in RoboCup Open competitions as well as main RoboCup competitions from 2016 onward. Include opponents and game scores from each competition in a table. State if the team plans to participate in any RoboCup Open competitions or friendlies prior to RoboCup 2018.
  5. Impact: what is the impact of the team’s participation and research in RoboCup on (1) the SPL, (2) the team’s university/community
  6. Other: present any other information that you believe supports your application

The written material must be complemented by a link to a video (maximum 5 min long, uploaded on the team’s web site or on some video server) that demonstrates the status of the team. The TC uses the video to determine the readiness of the team to compete effectively, and hence should focus on the team’s ability to play soccer. Teams who did not participate in the team competition at RoboCup 2017 must include footage of at least one robot attempting to kick off and score (this footage must be captured as a single wide shot with no cuts). In cases where footage from multiple teams is shown (such as game footage), please include a textual overlay denoting which team is the applying team. Videos of simulation contributions will also be accepted, but only when a real robot is unavailable. Preference will be given to teams that use real robots to show soccer skills in their video.

Pre-Qualification

Teams that satisfied the pre-qualification guidelines as set forth in the RoboCup 2017 rulebook will be pre-qualified for RoboCup 2018, if they submit the following original qualification document. Teams able to pre-qualify include: B-Human, Nao-Team HTWK, Nao Devils, UT Austin Villa, TJ Ark, UNSW Sydney, MRL-SPL, HULKs, Berlin United, Camelia Dragons

The original qualification document must include:

  1. Team Information: the team name, leader(s), and the university/company affiliation(s) of the team
  2. Mixed Teams: If the team is interested in participating in the mixed teams competition, indicate the name of the partner team, the proposed mixed team name, and the proposed mixed team jersey color. Include a short note about infrastructure plans as well as why this team and the proposed partner wish to perform as a mixed team.
  3. Code Usage: acknowledge the team’s use of any other team’s code (1) previously from 2015 to present and (2) anticipated at RoboCup 2018. If code is used from other teams, is this code integrated into a code base that is mainly designed by the applying team? If not, describe in detail the ‘research publishable’ significant advancements to a module the applying team has made to the other team’s code release and what advancements the team is currently pursuing. A module is a larger part of the code base, that has to be changed significantly. Changing or implementing a behaviour is not a significant change. If the applying team does not use any other team’s code, state so.
  4. TRR: A link to a team research report describing their work for RoboCup 2017 (must be posted in a publicly available location)
  5. Code Release: A link to a publicly release code as detailed in the 2017 SPL rulebook

If a joint 2017 team splits, only one team can be pre-qualified for 2018 (please, indicate which one).

Qualification for Regional Opens Only

Teams may also submit a short intent to participate in a regional open if they do not wish to participate in the 2018 RoboCup Montréal competition. Although teams may participate in regional opens without submitting this intent to participate, teams who submit an intent to participate and become qualified will be eligible for special robot pricing as a 2018 RoboCup Event qualified team.

Teams must submit the following information by 31 January 2018: (1) The team name, leader(s), and the university/company affiliation(s) of the team and (2) a short statement describing the status/progress of the team. A link to a short video showing robot soccer behaviours and/or game play (using robots or in simulation) may be included if available.

Submission and Evaluation

All applications with the (pre-)qualification material must be submitted by 31st of January 2018, by email to rc-spl-tc@lists.robocup.org.

Applications must not be sent to personal SPL TC/OC email addresses and must not contain video attachments.

Note that applying serves as a statement of commitment to participate in the RoboCup 2018 SPL. If you have doubts regarding the ability of your team to participate (due to funding, visas, etc.), please apply by the deadline but note this in your application. Declining to participate in any competition after the official early registration period has opened may negatively affect future applications (the later you decline, the worse it will affect future applications).

Teams are encouraged to consider joint participation. Joint proposals will be judged on combined merit.

Applications will be evaluated to consider a variety of components including:

  1. Potential to play competitive games at RoboCup 2018 (demonstrated ability to play soccer, previous results, etc.)
  2. Contributions (and potential contributions) to league (code releases/papers, active in organization, developing own code, etc.)
  3. Diversity (region, team make-up, unique characteristics, etc.)

When choosing teams and team pairings for the mixed teams competition, we will pick teams and team pairings that we hope will make the competition high-quality, competitive, and interesting.

Qualification decisions, including alternate lists, will be announced by 20 February 2018. We expect to qualify 24 teams for RoboCup 2018 in Montréal as well as up to 8 teams for Regional Opens only.

Robot Acquisition

SoftBank Robotics has a special pricing package for teams who qualify for the 2018 RoboCup Events. A list of qualified teams will be sent to SoftBank Robotics by the SPL Technical Committee after the qualification decisions have been announced, so teams may contact SoftBank Robotics after that date to order robots if they choose.

Orders will have to be placed to SoftBank Robotics by May 15, 2018 to benefit from discounted prices.

Discounted RoboCup prices only apply to RoboCup Qualified Team who will participate to the 2018 RoboCup Event. In case the Federation informs SoftBank Robotics that a Qualified Team, who benefited from the discounted RoboCup price, was a no-show during the 2018 RoboCup Events, SoftBank Robotics will invoice the said Team the additional cost for the regular list price applicable at the time of purchase. Hence, if a Team purchases any discounted robots and then decides not to participate, they will be charged the regular price for all. Teams should contact SoftBank Robotics if they have questions regarding these policies.

It is reminded that SoftBank Robotics is not allowed to sell, export and ship its products to natural or legal persons and to entities and countries which are subject to international sanctions or prohibitions from the United Nations and/or the European Union and/or the United States of America.

Limit Number

SoftBank Robotics agrees to deliver up to 6 NAOs (either new robots or replacement robots) per SPL Qualified Team at the negotiated price detailed below. Above this limit of 6 robots, any additional robots can be purchased at the regular list price applicable at the time of purchase.

NAO Version

Offers available for the 2018 edition

For the 2018 edition, SoftBank Robotics offers refurbished NAO V5 for sale or rent. Note that quantity is limited to 25 V5 robots and only two colors are available (blue and red). Looking ahead to the upcoming release of NAO V6, SoftBank Robotics offers the teams the possibility to rent NAO V5 so they can minimize their spending on the previous version. A rental agreement shall be signed between SoftBank Robotics and the teams.

The rental offer above is made on an exceptional and one-off basis due to the circumstances of the upcoming NAO V6.

Pre-order on NAO v6

SoftBank Robotics shall be allowed to receive pre-orders of NAO V6 up to 6 robots per team. SoftBank Robotics will deliver the robots on a first-come-first-serve per robot order (i.e., first robot for each team in the order in which orders arrived at Softbank, the second robot per team will start being delivered in the same way once all teams that ordered have received one robot). As a reminder, the maintenance period starts at the delivery date.

In case, a team orders a NAO V6 together with the 6 months rental of NAO V5, SBRE refunds 40% of the rental fee.

The Federation shall decide whether NAO v6 shall be used for Robocup 2018.

Price for NAO V5 and older (excluding VAT, shipping)

  • Price of the V5 refurbished*: 2.500€ OR USD2.800
  • Price of a NAO v5 6-month rental: 960€ OR USD1.150
  • Additional Charger: List Price
  • Additional Battery: List Price
  • 1 Year Warranty Extension for NAO V5 **: 900€ OR USD890
  • 1 Year Warranty Extension for NAO V4 and previous versions: not available
  • Other types of replacements (metal gears/arms/head…): not available
  • Repair during RoboCup 2018 on NAO V5 and NAO V4 during the warranty period: Included in the warranty
  • Repair during RoboCup 2018 on NAO V5 and NAO V4 outside the warranty period: Quatation on request ***
  • Repair during RoboCup 2018 on other versions: not available

* Includes: 2 years warranty starting at initial shipping date – 1 charger and battery. Does not include shipping
and taxes.
** The total warranty period shall not exceed a duration of 4 years after the initial shipping date of the product, unless otherwise agreed in writing.
***Repair is at reasonable price during the RoboCup. In the case of NAO V4, quotation will be done within the limits of available stock of V4 spare parts.

Price for NAO V6 Pre-order (excluding VAT, shipping)

  • Price of the NAO V6 within the limit number: 4.100€ OR USD5.100
  • 40% of V5 rental fee refund: -384€ OR -USD461
  • Additional Charger: List Price
  • Additional Battery: List Price
  • 1 Year Warranty Extension for NAO V6 **: List price

** The total warranty period shall not exceed a duration of 4 years after the initial shipping date of the product, unless otherwise agreed in writing.

A “Delegation of Signature” document must be signed by the Delegating Official for repair quotations on request during RoboCup.

RoboCup 2018 Standard Platform League Technical and Organizing Committees