Technical Challenges

In 2010, we have two technical challenges. These two challenges are designed to encourage SSL teams to develop interesting technical contributions. In order to motivate more teams to participate in the challenges, there is no qualification constraint. Both are designed to be scalable, i.e. every team can participate without much special preparation. Of course, teams who spend extra time on preparing the challenge are more likely to benefit from their work. Please note that both of these two challenges have changed from their respective 2009 versions. All challenges must use the new SSL Shared Vision system and the new standard robot pattern.

Until June 4th (two weeks before the start of the competition), each team that is interested in participating in the challenge has to announce its interest to the OC. This is necessary for the preparation of the schedule.

Mixed Team Challenge - Shooting and Passing

One of the aims of the Small Size League is to foster the development of cooperating agents. The current state of the art is to control all members of one team by a central intelligence instance which has a complete knowledge about the current state of each robot. Even in teams which have a distributed artificial intelligence component, every robot has detailed information about the behaviours of its team members and thus can deduce actions which lead to an overall cooperative behaviour of the whole team. The aim of this challenge is to define a scenario for “real” cooperation, i.e. to let robots cooperate which do not have any knowledge about the internal state of all other robots of their team. This is intended to become realized by mixing existing teams.

A mixed team is defined:

For the 2010 challenge, we consider a mixed team as a team of four robots originating from two different SSL teams. Each of these two sub-teams has to provide two robots. Each sub-team controls their robots with their own software stack. Of course, all members of a mixed team have the same team marker colour. For this year, there will not be any communication between the different sub-teams. A mixed team must use the new SSL Shared Vision system and the new standard robot pattern.

For creating the mixed teams, the following approach will be applied:

After the round robin stage of the soccer competition (i.e. on Tuesday afternoon), the teams for the “Mixed Team Challenge” are separated into two groups. In both groups, every team has to pair with every other team and perform the challenge task. The two best teams from each group will process to the final round according to their score. These teams have to pair with every other team and perform the challenge task again. The total ranking of the challenge can be determined as follows:

  • The first four teams are ranked by only the number of goals they scored in the final round.
  • The remaining teams are ranked by the number of goals their scored.

The Challenge

Put up two robots from each different teams on the field and score as many goals as possible within 120 seconds. Points are awarded as follows:

  • 1 Point: Scoring a goal after two robots from different teams have touched the ball (i.e. after a pass*)
  • 2 Points: Scoring a goal after the ball has been touched at least three times by alternating robots (i.e. after at least two passes*)

*A pass will only be considering as valid if it has involved robots originating from two different teams.

The rules for this challenge:

To start, the mixed team chooses a side of the field. All robots must be placed within 1m from their team's goal line. Opponent robots will be placed on the field as obstacles. A ball will be placed near one of the corners at the mixed team's own side of the field. A goal can be scored only when the kicking robot is in the opponent's half. Once a goal is scored or the ball has left the field, it will be placed again near one of the corners at the own side of the field.

  • To start, all robots must be placed within 1m from the own goal line.
  • Opponent robots will be placed on the field as obstacles.
  • A ball will be placed near one of the corners at the own side of the field.
  • A goal can be scored only when the kicking robot is in the opponent's half.
  • Once a goal is scored or the ball has left the field, it will be placed again near one of the corners at the own side of the field.
Mixed team challenge example in RoboCup 2009

Open Challenge

This challenge is designed to encourage creativity within the Small-Size League, allowing teams to demonstrate interesting research on autonomous mobile robot systems. Each team will demonstrate their research on a standard Small Size League 2010 field, and has to use one or more Small Size League robot(s) as part of the demonstration. In this open challenge, hardware modifications or extensions to the small size robot(s) are acceptable, even if not fully compliant to the standard SSL game rules, as long as the demonstration poses no risk to the people, the field, or the equipment. Teams may use the SSL-Vision system that is provided. Teams are not allowed to mount any additional equipment to the overhead camera bar. Teams can demonstrate their open challenge topics as much as they like within three minute. Each team may also distribute a short presentation or a page of a paper to describe their research. The winner will be decided by a vote from SSL team leaders using a Barda count (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barda_count). Each team will list their top 10 teams in order (excluding themselves). The teams are encouraged to evaluate the performance based on these criteria: Technical strength, novelty, expected impact, and relevance to the league. The time of vote will be within 30 minutes after the last demonstration. Each ranking from each team is converted to points: 10 points for top ranking, 9 points for second, down to 1 point for 10th. Any points awarded by a team to itself will be disregarded. The points awarded by the teams are summed. The team with the highest total score will be the winner of this challenge.

Overall Challenge Ranking

The results from two challenges will be combined to get an overall technical challenge ranking.

To combine the challenge results, we will use the following formula:

Let MIXED_1_SUM be the sum of all points in a group that all teams in a group received in the first round of the mixed team challenge, MIX_2_SUM be the sum of all points that all teams received in the final round of the mixed team challenge, MIXED_1_TEAM be the number of points a single team received in the first round and MIXED_2_TEAM be the number of points a single team received in the final round.

Let OPEN_SUM be the sum of all points that all teams received in open challenge and OPEN_TEAM be the number of points a single team received.

Then

TOTAL_TEAM = ( (MIXED_1_TEAM / MIXED_1_SUM) + (MIX_2_TEAM / MIXED_2_SUM) )/2 + OPEN_TEAM / OPEN_SUM

Time and Fields

The challenge will be conducted during the first and second days in the competition.

Optional Game Demo

If some teams volunteer to show a mixed full 5 vs. 5 SSL soccer match, we would strongly appreciate and support this. Nevertheless, this will not be considered for the overall challenge ranking.