The RoboCupRescue Robot League encourages participation by interested organizations from around the world, but limits participation to one team per organization. Regional open competitions are hosted around the world to provide essential practice deployment experience for teams and to support qualification of teams for the World Championship competition each year. The World Championship includes a maximum of 5 teams from each regional open competition, which are typically the three awardees and up to two more teams based on the previous year’s awards, Best-In-Class demonstrations in the current year, and other considerations noted below.
RoboCupRescue Robot League regional open competitions are hosted in Japan, Germany, Iran, Thailand, Mexico, and we are actively trying (but need help from locals) to establish regional open competitions in other areas as well. All teams should use regional open competitions to:
- Practice your deployment strategies,
- Familiarize yourselves with the arenas and rules, and
- Demonstrate your capabilities to the Technical Committee.
Unfortunately, due to the close scheduling of the regional open competitions and the World Championship each year, the qualification process can’t be completely sequential because teams sometimes have trouble making it to the World Championship on short notice. So the Technical Committee qualifies an initial set of teams each year for the World Championship based on performance in the previous year’s competition and their updated team description papers. Teams that win a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place award at any regional open competition and submit a team description paper are qualified for the World Championship competition in that year and the following year.
The Technical Committee usually keeps a few slots open in the World Championship competition to include additional capable teams that emerge from the regional open competitions each year. When there is no regional open competition in the region of the World Championship, the technical committee typically qualifies proportionally more teams from the local region, while encouraging them to try to participate in other regional open competitions as well. At large qualifications may also be granted for teams in regions without a regional open competition. Although it is clear that the best route to participate in a World Championship competition is to perform well in a regional open competition and write a good team description paper. You will find the lessons learned from both are well worth the effort.
Each year the Technical Committee looks at the following criteria to qualify teams for the World Championship:
- Your TDP which describes improvements to your robot based on lessons learned from the previous year’s competitions that produced a semi-final round appearance in the World Championship, a Best-In-Class award in the World Championship, or a Place award in a regional open.
- Your TDP describes a particularly interesting or innovative approach that the Technical Committee considers likely to perform well at the World Championship competition even without previous experience at a regional open competition, especially when there is not yet a regional open competition nearby to you. This is especially possible if you can demonstrate your capabilities convincingly within representative arena apparatuses through video of the robot performing any or all of the requisite capabilities:
- advanced mobility (traversing random stepfields or confined space cubes)
- navigation (wall following, centering between obstacles or constrictions)
- localization and mapping (2D/3D maps, SLAM on non-flat-flooring i.e. pitch/roll ramps, low-profile stepfields)
- directed perception (visual acuity for near/far/dark/light, sensor probing into voids, sometimes with reaching)
- victim identification (fusion of the various sensory signals to improve confidence and reduce errors)
- autonomy (assistive features, bounded intervals, or fully autonomous performance of any or all of the above)
- effective operator interfaces
Finally, some qualifications for the World Championship may be granted by the Technical Committee to include particular countries in the league, encourage technologies that the league should be investigating, or to support other league outreach efforts.