Call for Participation 2019

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Call for Applications for Participation

RoboCup 2019 Standard Platform League

spl.robocup.org

Tuesday 2nd July through Monday 8th July 2019 (Sydney International Convention Centre, Australia)

2019.robocup.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 by all the teams using an identical robot platform. Participating researchers focus on algorithmic development for fully autonomous robots, i.e., robots that operate with no external control. The SPL at RoboCup 2019 will use V6, V5 or older versions of the NAO humanoid robot manufactured by SoftBank Robotics. The SPL robot soccer team competition games at RoboCup 2019 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 2019 SPL will host:

  • A team competition
  • A mixed teams competition
  • An open research challenge
  • A technical challenge

The team competition will consist of a similar number of games for most teams compared to recent years. We expect to qualify 24 teams. The structure from 2018 will be used to allow all teams to play games against teams with similar skill levels. See Appendix A.4 of the preliminary rulebook for more details. The 24 teams participating in the team competition must also compete in the open research challenge and technical challenge.

The technical challenge will be a “Directional Whistle Challenge”, similar to the whistle detection of the “Sound Recognition Challenge” from RoboCup 2014. The open challenge will consist of a poster prepared by the teams accompanied by a small presentation. Both challenges will be detailed further with the release of the SPL rules document.

To assist in adoption of V6 Robots one or more source code examples regarding V6 robots will be published at a later date. These examples allow teams to adapt their competition code from recent years more easily to encourage use of V6 Robots. Softbank are in the process of preparing the certifying the API for the Nao V6 that is specific for SPL. Softbank expect to release this during the week of December 10 – 14. Further details will be distributed once the release has been made.

Teams applying for the team competition may also apply for the mixed teams competition. Each mixed team will consist of two teams. Mixed teams will play 6v6 games on an enlarged SPL field (12m x 8m). Up to 8 mixed teams (comprised of up to 16 normal teams) will be selected to compete at RoboCup 2019. Teams, who participated in 2018, are required to select another partner compared to 2018. See Appendix B of the preliminary rulebook for more details.

Exclusively applying for mixed teams competition is not possible. However, the SPL offers to facilitate contact between regular teams which lack a partner for the mixed teams competition. Feel free to announce your interest in the mixed teams competition by email to rc-spl-tc@lists.robocup.org.

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 2019. 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 2017 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 2019.
  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 2018 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 2018 rulebook will be pre-qualified for RoboCup 2019, if they submit the following original qualification document. Teams able to pre-qualify include: B-Human, Nao-Team HTWK, Nao Devils, UT Austin Villa, TJArk, rUNSWift, HULKs, Berlin United, Naova, NTU RoboPAL

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 2019. 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 2018 (must be posted in a publicly available location)
  5. Code Release: A link to a public code release as detailed in the 2018 SPL rulebook

If a joint 2018 team splits, only one team can be pre-qualified for 2019 (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 2019 RoboCup Sydney 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 future special robot pricing. Special robot picing for team competing in RoboCup Events are still being discussed. Updates about special prices will be annouced as soon as offers and conditions are finalized.

Teams must submit the following information by 15 January 2019: (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 15th of January 2019, 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 2019 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 2019 (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 22nd February 2019. We expect to qualify 24 teams for RoboCup 2019 in Sydney as well as up to 8 teams for Regional Opens only.

Robot Acquisition

Teams who submit an intent to participate and become qualified will be eligible for future special robot pricing. Special robot picing for team competing in RoboCup Events are still being discussed. Updates about special prices will be annouced as soon as offers and conditions are finalized.

RoboCup 2019 Standard Platform League Technical and Organizing Committees