RoboCup@Work Rules


Participation in the Competition

Participation in RoboCup@Work requires successfully passing a qualification procedure. This procedure is to ensure the quality of the competition event and the safety of participants. Depending on constraints imposed by a particular site or the number of teams interested to participate, it may not be possible to admit all interested teams to the competition.

Steps to Participate

All teams that intend to participate in the competition have to perform the following steps:

  1. Preregistration (may be optional; currently by sending email to the TC)
  2. Submission of qualification material, including a team description paper and possibly additional material like videos or drawings
  3. Final registration (qualified teams only)


The qualification process serves a dual purpose: It should allow the TC to assess the safety of the robots a team intends to bring to a competition, and it should allow ranking teams according to a set of evaluation criteria in order to select the most promising teams for a competition, if not all interested teams can be permitted. The TC will select the qualified teams according to the qualification material provided by the teams. The evaluation criteria will include:

  • Team description paper
  • Relevant scientific contribution/publications Professional quality of robot and software Novelty of approach
  • Relevance to industry
  • Performance in previous competitions Contribution to RoboCup@Work league, e.g. by
    • Organization of events
    • Provision and sharing of knowledge
  • Team website

Team Description Paper

The Team Description Paper (TDP) is a central element of the qualification process and has to be provided by each team as part of the qualification process. All TDPs will be included in the CD proceedings of the RoboCup Symposium. The TDP should at least contain the following information in the author/title section of the paper:

  • Name of the team (title)
  • Team members (authors), including the team leader Link to the team web site
  • Contact information

The body of the TDP should contain information on the following:

  • the focus of research/research interest
  • description of the hardware, including an image of the robot(s)
  • description of the software, esp. the functional and software architectures
  • innovative technology (if any)
  • reusability of the system or parts thereof
  • applicability and relevance to industrial tasks

The team description paper should cover in detail the technical and scientific approach, while the team web site should be designed for a broader audience. Both the web site and the TDP have to be written in English.


The competition tasks result directly from the list of scientifical and industrial challenges. The actual tasks are defined as a set of so-called tests. The competition is organized in two stages of increasing complexity. Each stage consists of a number of tests.

Stage 1

Basic Manipulation Test

Demonstrate basic manipulation capabilities by the robots, like grasping, turning, or placing an object

Basic Transportation Test

Assess the ability of the robots for combined navigation and manipulation tasks

Stage 2

Rotating Table Test

Grasp objects from a rotating table

Precision Placement Test

Drop objects precisely into cavities



The competition arena is a rectangular area no less than 2 m x 4 m and no more than 4 m x 6 m. It is surrounded by walls. The height of the walls is no less than 20 cm and no more than 40 cm. One or more gates may be foreseen, where robots can enter or leave the arena. Gates may or may not be closable.

The floor is made of some firm material. Examples include floors made of concrete, screed, timber, plywood, chipboard, laminated boards, linoleum, PVC flooring, or carpet.

Arenas contain one or more service areas, which have specific purposes for a particular test. Examples include loading and unloading areas, conveyor belts, rotators, storage areas, etc. Service areas may contain specific environment objects, such as racks, shelves, etc.

The objects for manipulation will include a wide range of objects relevant in industrial applications of robotics and eventually cover any raw material, semi-finished parts, and finished parts and products as well as tools and possibly operating materials required for manufacturing processes. The intention is to start with a simple set of objects of different shapes and colors and to widen the spectrum every year in at least one aspect. The initial set of objects includes cuboids, hexagons, cylinders, spheres (balls), and rings. The weight of each object may not exceed 250 g. Each object must be shaped such that it can be grasped with a parallel gripper with an opening span not wider than 7 cm.


The robots need to comply with certain size constraints. A robot, including all parts attached to it as used in the competition, must be able to move by itself into a configuration so that it fits into a cube of side lengths 80 cm x 50 cm x 80 cm (length x width x height). If all the robot’s parts, such as a manipulator or anything able to protrude outside of the previously specified cube, are fully extended, the system must still not exceed a cube of side lengths 120 cm x 80 cm x 160 cm (length x width x height). The organizers may specify further constraints, such as weight limits.

The following assumptions are made about the kind of robots used in the competition:

  • At least one of the robots used by a team is mobile and moves on wheels. No specific assumptions are made about the kinematic design, but the mobile robots should be able to move on basically flat, sufficiently firm surfaces.
  • The robots have at least one manipulator and are able to grasp objects, which are graspable by a parallel gripper with a jaw width of at least 5 cm and do not weigh more than 250 g.
  • The robots use sensors to obtain information about their whereabouts in the environment and the task-relevant objects. The major types of sensors that may be used by the robots include:
    – laser range finders (cf. models by Hokuyo or Sick)
    – color CCD cameras (cf. any kind of USB camera)
    – 3D cameras (such as the Kinect camera)

The design of the scenario should be such that the robots can solve the tasks safely and robustly using (all or a subset of) these sensors. Future competitions may foresee the use of RFID sensors in the scenario design.

RoboCup@Work Rulebooks