RoboCup 2021

Welcome to the Standard Platform League (SPL) at RoboCup 2021.

This year the SPL competition is taking place virtually and distributed across the laboratories of participating teams world wide. The competition has 4 distinct challenges, each of which tests participants abilities in different aspects of robot soccer. These are the Obstacle Avoidance Challenge, the Passing Challenge, the 1vs1 Challenge, and the Autonomous Calibration Challenge. The first two of these challenges must be performed in teams’ own laboratories (under observation of remote referees) while the latter two challenges are performed in remote laboratories from other teams. For more details on the challenges, see the rule book (.pdf).

To watch the competition take a look at the schedule to see at what time challenges are scheduled each day. Then follow the links on the schedule to follow the live-stream on our YouTube channel.

Obstacle Avoidance Challenge

The task in this challenge is for a single robot to score a goal from the kick-off spot as fast as possible. There are two complications: The robot’s path is obstructed by four obstacles and it is only allowed to score from beyond the penalty mark. Each time the ball touches an obstacle, a penalty time of 5 seconds is added to the time. Each time the robot walks into an obstacle, there’s a penalty time of 10 seconds.

The challenge focuses on two important soccer skills: First, to detect obstacles and react to them, and second, to control the ball well enough to keep it clear of the obstacles.

Note that some fields are smaller than the proper dimensions. In these cases, the ball will be placed at the same 4.5-meter distance away from the goal.

For the schedule of the Obstacle Avoidance Challenge, see here.

Passing Challenge

Two robots attempt to complete as many passes as possible around two stationary defenders in 5 minutes. The ball is not allowed to touch the defenders.

For the schedule of the Passing Challenge, see here.

1vs1 Challenge

For the schedule of the 1vs1 Challenge, see here.

Autonomous Calibration Challenge

This challenge deals with the problem that every robot and every field have small differences, even though all robots in our league are the same model and the fields are built to the same rules. For example, there are differences in the environmental conditions such as lighting, and robots have “wear-and-tear”, or different manufacturing tolerances. These differences greatly affect the robot’s ability to play soccer.

Careful calibration is required to adapt every individual robot to these small differences. A badly calibrated robot will fall over when it tries to walk, and won’t be able to see the ball. Calibration works out ideal camera settings or the exact “offsets” of the manufacturing differences, and impacts of joint wear. Usually calibration is done manually by educated guess-work, or a semi-automated learning procedure that requires significant human assistance. It is far better and quicker if the robot could “automatically” calibrate itself. Thus, this challenge requires the robot to “self calibrate”.

The challenge consists of two phases: In the first phase, the robot has the opportunity to collect data from which it “self calibrates”. In the second phase, the robot performs a series of tasks to judge the accuracy of the calibration. These tasks are walking to fixed positions and stating the positions of two soccer balls that are placed on the field. The robot is judged on speed and accuracy, as it must both walk stably and accurately perceive its environment as quickly as possible.

For the schedule of the Autonomous Calibration Challenge, see here.