Technical Challenges

Three technical challenges will be held at RoboCup 2014, out of which the Double-Size Field technical challenge is compulsory for teams to proceed beyond the round-robins.

These challenges are designed to encourage SSL teams to develop technical contributions and to test ideas that can evolve the league towards the RoboCup goal of 2050. In order to motivate more teams to participate in the challenges, there is no qualification constraint, and the Committees encourages all the participating teams to compete in the challenges.

Double-Size Field Challenge

For a team to qualify beyond the round robins, they must successfully participate in the double-sized field technical challenge. Successful participation is declared after scoring at least 2 points. Points will be awarded for the demonstrating the following skills on the double-sized field, where each skill is scored only once:

  • Taking a kickoff without a force-start (1 point).
  • Scoring a goal against a stopped defense consisting of centrally placed goalie and 2 defenders (1 point).
  • Taking an indirect free kick from the goal line without a force start (1 point).
  • Scoring a goal on the stopped defense after a pass between two robots (2 points).
  • Scoring a goal on a moving 3-robot defense after a pass between two robots (4 points).

In addition to these points, additional bonus points will be awarded to teams that play on the double-sized field for actual competition matches:

  • You get 4 bonus points if you played at least 1 game on the double sized field.
  • For every goal scored in your best (highest scoring) double sized field game you get 3 bonus points. This includes goals from penalty kicks.

Procedure for the Double-Sized Technical Challenge:

  1. The challenge starts with a kickoff.
  2. If the team successfully scores a point from the kickoff, the challenge continues according to the normal rules of the game, except all free kicks are awarded to the playing team.
  3. If the team is unsuccessful at scoring a point from the kickoff, they may request another kickoff in lieu of a free kick the next time the ball goes out of play.
  4. The challenge concludes at either the 5-minute time, or when the team withdraws after scoring at least 2 points.

Automatic Referee Challenge

This challenge will test the accuracy of a team’s autonomous referee software. Software entered in this challenge does not need to be capable of autonomously running an entire game; rather, the intent of this technical challenge is to demonstrate building blocks and provide a solid foundation on which others can build more advanced autonomous referee systems.

A team will be awarded the specified number of points after the software correctly identifies the specified event for the third time (no further points are awarded for additional detections, nor for two or fewer detections of a particular event):

  1. The ball has exited the field, and which team most recently touched it: 1 point
  2. The RoboCup 2014 rule regarding multiple defenders in the defence area is violated, by which team, and to which extent (partial or full occupation): 1 point
  3. Robots have collided violently, and which team was at fault: 2 points
  4. The ball was kicked above 8 m/s, and by which team: 1 point
  5. The ball was kicked above 15 cm above the field surface and crossed the midfield line before bouncing or touching another robot (a new penalty at RoboCup 2014 defined in section 12.3), and which team last touched the ball before the violation: 2 points
  6. One robot is pushing another without the robots first colliding violently, and which robot is pushing: 6 points

Any software that identifies one of the above events when it did not, in fact, occur will lose one point per false positive identification.

To participate in this challenge, all autonomous referees must be designed to receive SSL-Vision and referee box packets from the network to identify game state, and must be configured to avoid sending any packets onto the network.

To avoid any unfair benefit, all participants will simultaneously judge a single live RoboCup game. All autonomous referees will be attached to the field network. A neutral third party will monitor each autonomous referee computer’s display; teams are responsible for making their autonomous referee software easy enough to explain to this third party. Please consider the use of a scrolling log format (this could be as simple as writing messages to standard output), for ease of reading and re-examination of past output. The neutral third party will record each instance of an event identified by the autonomous referee, along with whether the positive identification was true or false.

For the purposes of this technical challenge, a positive identification is considered true if and only if the human referee on duty at the game makes the same call. As the purpose of this challenge is to detect specific events, not to run a complete game, the referee will be requested to announce all relevant events, including those (s)he would not normally call due to e.g. the precedence rules or anticipated benefit rules set out in section 5.2 if the Laws of the Game. The referee will also be requested to consider input from his/her assistant when announcing these events, as some events may happen outside the referee’s line of sight.

In order to be declared as successfully participating in this technical challenge, a team’s autonomous referee software must:

  • execute for the duration of the game without human input, except that teams are permitted to work on their referee software during half-time and similar scheduled breaks in gameplay (but not during timeouts)
  • have a score of at least two points when the game ends
  • have its source code publicly available, under a license that could not reasonably prevent either other teams or the league from using the software or incorporating the code into their own autonomous referee systems (copyleft open-source licenses such as GPL are acceptable), along with any necessary documentation on compiling and running the software

Common Command Protocol Challenge