Call for Applications for Participation 2022

Call for Applications for Participation

RoboCup 2022 Standard Platform League

spl.robocup.org

Monday 11th July through Sunday 17th July 2022 Bangkok, Thailand

2022.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 2022 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 2022 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 2022 SPL will host:

  • A 5 vs. 5 team competition as the main competition of the event.
  • A 7 vs. 7 competition.
  • A visual referee technical challenge.
  • A dynamic ball handling technical challenge.
  • A video analysis and statistics open research challenge.

The 5 vs. 5 team competition will consist of a similar number of games for most teams compared to recent years. 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 teams participating in the team competition should also compete in some of the additional technical challenges.

The 7 vs. 7 side competition extends the ideas from the mixed team competition, and 1 vs. 1 remote challenge from RoboCup 2021 to a standardized 7 vs. 7 NAO V6 on-site competition. Its goal is to encourage more collaborative game play and offer a chance for teams to work together more closely. Participating in 7 vs. 7 is recognized as participation in a technical challenge.

Additional technical challenges offered at the competition are the visual referee challenge and the dynamic ball handling challenge.

The open research challenge aims to provide the SPL with long term performance statistics based on video analysis. Please note that the open research challenge comes with additional deadlines as mentioned in the rulebook. 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.

Survey

The RoboCup Federation is committed to supporting an in-person event in Thailand from July 11th-17th, as long as the LOC in Thailand decides it is possible. To help the organizers understand the concerns teams are having, please participate in the following survey until January 31st if you are considering to apply for RoboCup this year: https://forms.gle/ufN2b3pt9TkgKgYu9

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 2017 to present and (2) anticipated at RoboCup 2022. If code is used from other teams, is this code integrated into a code base that is mainly designed by the applying team? 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. Own Contribution: Describe in detail the ‘research publishable’ significant advancements the applying team has made and is going to use at RoboCup 2022, in accordance with the rule book, section A.1.
  4. 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 2022.
  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. Video presentation: Include 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 organizing committees use 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 or any challenge at RoboCup 2021 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.
  7. Other: Present any other information that you believe supports your application.

If your application mentions more than one e-mail address, please specify which one should be used to contact your team regarding your application.

Pre-Qualification

Teams are given the chance to pre-qualify based on their performance at RoboCup 2019 and 2021. Teams will be pre-qualified for RoboCup 2022, if they submit the following original qualification document. Teams able to pre-qualify include:

  • B-Human
  • UNISABANA Herons SPL
  • rUNSWift
  • HULKs
  • Bembelbots
  • Berlin United- Nao TH
  • Nao Devils
  • HTWK Robots
  • UT Austin Villa

The original qualification document must include:

  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 2017 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? 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. Own Contribution: Describe in detail the ‘research publishable’ significant advancements the applying team has made and is going to use at RoboCup 2022, in accordance with the rule book, section A.1.
  4. TRR: a link to a team research report describing their work for RoboCup 2019 or 2021 or both (which must be published in a publicly available location)
  5. 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 2022 (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 2022 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 15th of February 2022: (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 February 2022, 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 2022 SPL.

The organizing committees are aware of the ongoing COVID situation and assume that all applications are subject to withdrawal due to COVID. Applications are not required to mention uncertainties related to COVID to avoid negative effects on future applications. We would rather encourage teams to plan optimistically and sign up with the possibility of withdrawing if situation requires it.

For situations other than COVID: 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 2022 (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 29th of February 2022.

Robot Acquisition

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

RoboCup 2022 Standard Platform League Technical and Organizing Committees