The RoboCup@Home league
The RoboCup@Home league aims to develop service and assistive robot technology with high relevance for future personal domestic applications. It is the largest international annual competition for autonomous service robots and is part of the RoboCup initiative. A set of benchmark tests is used to evaluate the robots’ abilities and performance in a realistic non-standardized home environment setting. Focus lies on the following domains but is not limited to: Human-Robot-Interaction and Cooperation, Navigation and Mapping in dynamic environments, Computer Vision and Object Recognition under natural light conditions, Object Manipulation, Adaptive Behaviors, Behavior Integration, Ambient Intelligence, Standardization and System Integration. It is colocated with the RoboCup symposium.
Who can participate?
Everybody with an autonomous robot can participate. The @Home league consists of some tests and an open challenge to demonstrate the abilities of your robot. To participate in the open challenge you have to participate in at least one test. The competition is in a real world scenario (see below).
There is a special education program providing support and/or financial aid for eligible institutions: http://www.robocupathomeedu.org.
The competition of RoboCup@Home features three leagues and consists of a series of tests which the robots have to solve. The Domestic Standard Platform League focuses on household tasks while the Social Standard Platform League has special interest in the social aspects of human robot interaction, both removing the hardware constraint. In contrast, the The Open Platform League has no hardware restrictions whatsoever and offers the highest degree of freedom when conducting research. The conducted tests will change over the years to become more advanced and function as an overall quality measurement in desired areas. Suggestions for tests can be discussed on the email list. Performance measurement is based on a score derived from competition rules and evaluation by a jury.
Criteria of the tests are listed below. The tests should:
- include human machine interaction
- be socially relevant
- be application directed/oriented
- be scientifically challenging
- be easy to set up and low in costs
- be simple and have self-explaining rules
- be interesting to watch
- take a small amount of time
Suggestions for new tests or changes in existing tests should fulfill as many of these criteria as possible.
Suggestions can be mailed to the @Home email list (see contact information).
The ultimate scenario is the real world itself. To build up the required technologies gradually a basic home environment is provided as a general scenario. In the first years (we started in 2006) it will consist of a living room and a kitchen but soon it should also involve other areas of daily life, such as a garden/park area, a shop, a street or other public places.
Two of the tests are open demonstrations where freely chosen abilities can be shown. In the “open challenge” teams can freely choose what is demonstrated. In this context, proposals for future tests can be presented to the league. According to the criteria of RoboCup@Home, a jury consisting of team leaders will decide on the score awarded. The “demo challenge” is not a completely open but scoped demonstration. Teams are encouraged to pick up problems within the scope of the demo challenge (elderly/health care in 2013) and to demonstrate new abilities and applications. The scope of the demo challenge changes every year.
RoboCup@Home finishes with the finals where the 5 teams with the highest scores can perform in the scenario that has been set up. The teams are rated by a jury consisting of roboticists and non roboticists, such as people from industry, from human-machine interaction, from industrial design, from the audience and the press. The ranking of the finals determines the winner. In the finals there is less focus on technical matters, since getting in the finals already means that the teams are very good on the technical level.
If you want to be kept on the loop, sign up to the RoboCup@Home Mailing List.