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RoboCup 2017


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RoboCup.org
SoftBank NAO

Call for Applications for Participation

RoboCup 2017 Standard Platform League

www.tzi.de/spl/

Tuesday 25th July through Monday 31st July 2017 (Nagoya, Japan)

http://www.robocup2017.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 the use of an identical robot platform by all the teams. Participating researchers focus on algorithmic development for fully autonomous robots, i.e., robots that operate with no external control. The SPL at RoboCup 2017 will use V5 or older versions of the NAO humanoid robot manufactured by SoftBank Robotics. The SPL robot soccer team competition games at RoboCup 2017 will be played between teams of five robots on a 6m x 9m playing surface.

The RoboCup 2017 SPL will host both a team competition and a mixed teams competition.

The team competition will consist of more games for the majority of teams than in recent years. We expect to qualify 24 teams. A new structure will be used in the team competition to allow all teams to play more games against teams with similar skill levels. See Appendix A.3 of the preliminary rulebook for more details.

Teams applying for the team competition may also apply for the mixed team competition. Each mixed team will consist of two teams. Mixed teams will either play 10v10 games on a middle-size league field or 6v6 games on the normal SPL field. Only 4 mixed teams will be selected to compete at RoboCup 2017. See Appendix B of the preliminary rulebook for more details.

Qualification

All interested teams must submit an original qualification document. In order for the qualification document to be considered, it must (1) be no longer than 6 pages and (2) include all of 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 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 2017. 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' advancements the applying team has made to the other team's code release and what advancements the team is currently pursuing. 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 2015 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 2017.
  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 current status of the team. The video is used by the TC 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 2016 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 robots 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 2016 rulebook will be pre-qualified for RoboCup 2017, if they submit the following original qualification document. Teams able to pre-qualify include: Berlin United - NaoTH, B-Human, DAInamite, HULKs, Nao Devils Dortmund, Nao-Team HTWK, TJArk, UChile Robotics Team, UPennalizers, and UT Austin Villa.

The original qualification document must include:

  1. The team name, leader(s), and the university/company affiliation(s) of the team
  2. 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. A link to a team research report describing their work for RoboCup 2016 (must be posted in a publicly available location)
    1. For teams who reached the quarter-finals in the team competition, this team research report must include a link to publicly release code as detailed in the 2016 SPL rulebook

If a joint 2016 team splits, only one team can be pre-qualified for 2017 (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 2017 RoboCup Nagoya 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 special robot pricing as a 2017 RoboCup Event qualified team.

Teams must submit the following information by 1 December 2016: (1) The team name, leader(s), and the university/company affiliation(s) of the team and (2) a short statement describing the current status/progress of the team. A link to a short video showing robot soccer behaviors 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 1 December 2016, 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 submitting an application serves as a statement of commitment to participate in the RoboCup 2017 SPL. If you have doubts regarding the ability of your team to participate (due to funding, visas, ect), 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 2017 (demonstrated ability to play soccer, previous results, ect)
  2. Contributions (and potential contributions) to league (code releases/papers, active in organization, developing own code, ect)
  3. Diversity (region, team make-up, unique characteristics, ect)

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 20 December 2016. We expect to qualify a total of 32 teams (including some for Regional Opens only).

Robot Acquisition

SoftBank Robotics has a special pricing package for teams who qualify for the 2017 RoboCup Events. A list of qualified teams will be sent to SoftBank Robotics by the SPL Technical Committee after the qualification decisions have been announced, so teams may contact SoftBank Robotics after that date to order robots if they choose.

Orders will have to be placed to SoftBank Robotics by a set date to benefit from discounted prices. Teams should contact SoftBank Robotics regarding this date.

Discounted RoboCup prices only apply to RoboCup Qualified Team who will participate to the 2017 RoboCup Event. In case the Federation informs SoftBank Robotics that a Qualified Team, who benefited from the discounted RoboCup price, was a no-show during the 2017 RoboCup Events, SoftBank Robotics will invoice the said Team the additional cost for the regular list price applicable at the time of purchase. Hence, if a Team purchases any discounted robots and then decides not to participate, they will be charged the regular price for all. Teams should contact SoftBank Robotics if they have questions regarding these policies.

Limit Number

SoftBank Robotics agrees to deliver up to 6 NAOs (either new robots or replacement robots) per SPL Qualified Team at the negotiated price detailed below. Above this limit of 6 robots, any additional robots can be purchased at the regular list price applicable at the time of purchase.

NAO Version

Softbank agree to deliver the version V5 of NAO for RoboCup 2017 qualified teams. Any colored panels besides black are now allowed.

Price (excluding VAT)

Repairs during the RoboCup 2017

* Includes: 2 years warranty starting at initial shipping date - 1 charger and battery. Does not include: SW suite and shipping.

** Includes: 2 years warranty starting at initial shipping date - 1 charger and battery. Does not include shipping of replacement robot, shipping of replaced robot, shipping possible to local offices – Paris/Boston/Shanghai - does not include: SW suite. Please note that the new replacement robot will be shipped after receipt of the replaced robot by our teams.

*** The total warranty period shall not exceed a duration of 4 years after the initial shipping date of the product, unless otherwise agreed in writing.

**** Repair at reasonable price during the RoboCup. In the case of NAO V3.3, quotation will be done within the limits of available stock of V3.3 spare parts.

A “Delegation of Signature” document must be signed by the Delegating Official for repair quotations on request during RoboCup.

RoboCup 2017 Standard Platform League Technical and Organizing Committees