Call for Applications for Participation 2020

Call for Applications for Participation

RoboCup 2020 Standard Platform League

spl.robocup.org

Tuesday 23rd June through Monday 29th June 2020 (Parc des Expositions de Bordeaux, France)

2020.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 2020 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 2020 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 2020 SPL will host:

  • A team competition
  • An open research challenge
  • Two technical challenges

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 2019 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 should also compete in the open research challenge and technical challenges.

The first technical challenge will be a “General Penalty Shoot Out Challenge”, similar to the one from RoboCup 2018. The second technical challenge will be an obstacle avoidance challenge. The open challenge will consist of a poster prepared by the teams accompanied by a small presentation. All challenges will be detailed further with the release of the SPL rules document.

To assist in adoption of V6 Robots source code examples and documentation regarding V6 robots were published on the SPL website. One can also find example code working with V6 Robots in the code released by participating teams. These examples allow teams to adapt their competition code from recent years more easily to encourage use of V6 Robots. If you need access to the RoboCup NAOqi Image and the specific documentation, please write an email (mentioning your team affiliation) 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. Code Usage: acknowledge the team’s use of any other team’s code (1) previously from 2016 to present and (2) anticipated at RoboCup 2020. If code is used from other teams, is this code integrated into a code base that is mainly designed by the applying team? Describe in detail the ‘research publishable’ significant advancements to a module the applying team has made in accordance with the league’s qualification procedure. If the applying team does not use any other team’s code, state so. For further details, please have a look into the rule book, section A.1.
  3. Past History: provide game results in RoboCup Open competitions as well as main RoboCup competitions from 2018 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 2020.
  4. Impact: What is the impact of the team’s participation and research in RoboCup on (1) the SPL, (2) the team’s university/community?
  5. 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 minutes 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 2019 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). If robots from multiple teams are active in the footage (e.g. game footage), please include a textual overlay or additional document denoting which robots belong to the applying team for every scene. 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 2019 rulebook will be pre-qualified for RoboCup 2020, if they submit the following original qualification document. Teams able to pre-qualify include:

  • B-Human
  • Nao-Team HTWK
  • rUNSWift
  • Nao Devils
  • TJArk
  • UT Austin Villa
  • HULKs
  • Bembelbots
  • Starkit
  • SABANA Herons
  • Berlin United

The original qualification document must include:

  1. Team Information: the team name, leader(s), and the university/company affiliation(s) of the team
  2. Code Usage: acknowledge the team’s use of any other team’s code (1) previously from 2016 to present and (2) anticipated at RoboCup 2020. If code is used from other teams, is this code integrated into a code base that is mainly designed by the applying team? Describe in detail the ‘research publishable’ significant advancements to a module the applying team has made in accordance with the league’s qualification procedure. If the applying team does not use any other team’s code, state so. For further details, please have a look into the rule book, section A.1.
  3. TRR: A link to a team research report describing their work for RoboCup 2019 (which must be published in a publicly available location)
  4. Code Release: A link to a public code release as detailed in the 2019 SPL rulebook

If a joint 2019 team splits, only one team can be pre-qualified for 2020 (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 2020 RoboCup 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 pricing for team competing in RoboCup Events are still being discussed. Updates about special prices will be announced as soon as offers and conditions are finalized.

Teams must submit the following information by 22nd of January 2020: (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 10th of February 2020, 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 2020 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 2020 (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.)

Qualification decisions, including alternate lists, will be announced by 22nd February 2020. We expect to qualify 24 teams for RoboCup 2020 in Bordeaux 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 pricing for team competing in RoboCup Events are still being discussed. Updates about special prices will be announced as soon as offers and conditions are finalized.

RoboCup 2020 Standard Platform League Technical and Organizing Committees