RoboCup Junior is RoboCup for schools. Teams of young girls and boys with an age between 10 and 19 years construct and program their autonomous robots in one of three different leagues.
Soccer: Here, football robots are developed and programmed to independently orientate themselves on the pitch, find the ball and put it into the goal. Two robots play per team, which are allowed to have a diameter of 22 cm. To make it easier to find the ball, the robot emits infrared light.
Rescue: The rescue robots must autonomously follow a black line through a labyrinth containing several rooms and a ramp. In doing so, they have to recognise obstacles and avoid them. At the end of the course, the robots have to find an object and transport it to a certain area.
OnStage: For the OnStage Challenge, the teams design costumes and choreography and dance together with their robots to music of their choice on a stage. The robots have to be programmed to move to the music. The performances are judged by a jury of experts.
The Major Leagues are the RoboCup leagues for the researchers, scientists and students. The leagues are assigned to the four categories RoboCupSoccer, RoboCupRescue, RoboCup@Home and RoboCupIndustrial.
Small Size League (SSL): Robots with a diameter of 18 cm play in this league. A camera is mounted above the playing field to capture the game situation. The control and team coordination are also outsourced to an external PC. The robots are fast and pass the ball with high speed to their teammates.
Middle Size League (MSL): In this league, up to six fully autonomous robots per team play on a 24x18m field. The robots are mostly equipped with omnidirectional landing gear and omnidirectional vision systems. There are special kicking mechanisms that can also kick the ball high.
Standard Platform League (SPL): All teams play with the humanoid Nao robots from the French company Aldebaran, so this league is a pure software competition. The robots are equipped with two cameras and ultrasonic distance sensors. The competition offers new teams a (somewhat) easier entry into RoboCup.
Humanoid League (HL): Robots designed by the teams themselves with a human-like body shape and human-like sensors play in three size classes: KidSize, TeenSize and AdultSize. Maintaining balance when moving and shooting is one of the main problems.
Simulation: The robots and the playing field are simulated so that the teams can fully concentrate on software development. In a 2D simulation, 11 play against 11 simple software agents. In the 3D simulation, the complex Nao robots are used, whose joints have to be controlled.
Rescue Robots: The robots have to find survivors and create maps in a recreated disaster scenario. They mostly move on tracks and are equipped with a variety of sensors, such as laser scanners and thermal cameras. The intuitive control interface for the tele-operator is important.
Virtual Robots: In this league, real rescue robots and an arena are simulated using the USARSim environment. The simulated robots have sensors and are controlled by humans. The programs developed for the virtual robots can be transferred relatively easily to real robots.
Rescue Agents: This involves the coordination of emergency forces, such as police, firefighters and paramedics in a simulated disaster area the size of a city. In addition to programming the agents, it is also about further developing models for the spread of fires, traffic and crowds.
In this league, robots are supposed to make themselves useful in domestic environments. The autonomous service robots have to prove their abilities in a series of tests, e.g. finding and recognizing people, detecting, recognizing and manipulating objects and robust indoor navigation. In open demonstrations and the final, the robots can show what they do best to convince a jury of experts.
RoboCup@Work: The focus here is on mobile packaging in an industrial environment. Problems of navigation, object recognition, object handling and planning have to be solved. The teams often use the Kuka youBot, which is expanded with sensor technology and additional computing power.
Logistics: The logistics league is supported by Festo and is inspired by industrial production. Festo Robotino robots are programmed as driverless transport systems for simulated complex manufacturing processes. In the process, the robots have to explore the function of the production machines present on the playing field, which check the respective components, recognize the production status and change it. The goal is to produce and deliver as many end products as possible.