Skip to main content


IROS 2012 Competitions Workshop

Robot Competitions: Benchmarking, Technology Transfer and Education


Pedro Lima, Technical University of Lisbon, Portugal, email: ;
Rui Cortesão, University of Coimbra, Portugal, email: .


Robot competitions (e.g., DARPA Grand Challenge, RoboCup, IEEE ICRA Robot Challenge, ELROB) have emerged in recent years as a complementary approach to advance Robotics R&D through grand challenges based on the integration of robotic systems, benchmarked on a common reference testbed (e.g., a urban driving scenario, the NIST USaR arena). Some of the challenges take place in outdoor scenarios, others indoors. Many competitions focus on research problems, others enforce the educational viewpoint. All of them are excellent vehicles for the dissemination of Robotics relevance in research and education to the citizens, in particular to the youngsters. Competitions such as RoboCup pose long-term challenges and have developed well-established principles for research progress through annual rule updates, so that the innovation is a fundamental requisite. In other cases, as in the DARPA Grand Challenge, teams are challenged to tackle a difficult large-scale problem, which is, in principle, solvable by a suitable integration of the state of the art. Once the problem is solved, a new grand challenge is set. In both cases, innovative approaches are developed along the way and part of the resulting technology is transferred to real world applications. In this Workshop we want to discuss and compare how do different robot competitions achieve their goals, and learn lessons to improve them, with the goal of fostering research advances in Intelligent Robot Systems. With that purpose, we will invite a set of experts in Robotics and robot competitions to present their different views on this subject, and to trigger the brainstorming with the attendants on the raised issues.


• Bring together experts on Robotics and robot competitions to present their different views on the way to design the competitions with the goal of advancing R&D;
• Illustrate and discuss the impact of robot competitions on research advances through benchmarking, technology transfer, education and S&T dissemination.

Intended Audience

• Robotics researchers;
• Robotics educators (all levels of teaching);
• Industrial stakeholders;
• Robotics research funding institution officers.

List of Topics

• The role of robot competitions in promoting Robotics research;
• Technology transfer from academia to industry of novel ideas developed for robot competitions;
• Educational robotics and competitions;
• The role of robot competitions in promoting the awareness of the relevance of robotics research for society;
• Benchmarking through competitions of R&D approaches to Robotics;
• Indoor vs outdoor grand challenges.


Thursday, October 11, 2012, 14:00-18:00, Room Aquarius

  • 14:00-14:15 - Welcome Remarks and Introduction to the Workshop Theme (P. Lima and Rui Cortesão);
  • Invited Speakers:
    • 14:15-14:50 - Daniele Nardi, University of Rome "La Sapienza", Italy, "RoboCup: the Robot Soccer World Cup";
    • 14:50-15:25 - Frank Schneider, Fraunhofer Institute for Communication, Information Processing and Ergonomics, Germany, "The European Land Robot Trial 2011 Concept, Description, and Results";
    • 15:25-16:00 - Bill Smart, Oregon State University, USA, "The ICRA Robot Challenge: The First Five Years";
  • 16:00-16:30 - Coffee Break;
  • 16:30-17:00 - EU-Funded Research in Europe:
    Anne Bajart, Project Officer, European Commission, DG CONNECT, Robotics, "Progress towards smarter robots through competitions and benchmarking: the EU-funded Cognitive Systems and Robotics program";
  • 17:00-17:50 - Description Papers of the IROS 2012 RoboCup@Work Competition Teams:
    • LUHbots, Leibniz University Hannover, Germany;
    • Team Ephesus, Sabanci University, Turkey;
    • b-it-bots, Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences, Germany;
  • 17:50-18:00 - Closing Remarks.
Page views: 5