RoboCup is a worldwide project with the aim of building a soccer playing robot that looks like a human and will be able to win from the human world champion in 2050! The knowledge about robotics, which will be obtained, will be shared within the RoboCup teams, so that the technology will be improving very fast. By using soccer as a subject, many people will get interested in the RoboCup.
RoboCup Soccer League
The robot soccer is united in a league called the RoboCup Soccer League. This League is divided in multiple competitions, including the Small Size, the Middle Size and the Humanoid League. The Small Size League is played at a small soccer field. Above this field a camera is placed, which provides the robots with information about the position of the ball, the fellow players and the opposite players. At this league the improvement of the teamwork of the robots is most important.
At the Middle Size League, teams of complete autonomous robots play against each other with official FIFA rules on a field of 12 by 18 meters. The robots are independent and communicate with each other about the actions they have to take.
In the Humanoid League the robots move and behave like humans! This league focuses on developing skills such as walking, running and shooting a ball.
The result of these three leagues will eventually provide knowledge to produce a team of android robots which will play soccer independently. Their tactics will change during the game, just as during every normal soccer match. During the RoboCup European Open 2016 teams will battle in the Small Size League, the Middle Size League, and the Standard Platform League.
Robots in modern society
Robots which can propel, communicate with each other and with humans and react to their constantly changing environment can be applied in the society in many different ways. Therefore, RoboCup designed the RoboCup Rescue, the RoboCup @Home, and the RoboCup @Work challenges. The Rescue-robots can be used when a disaster has occurred and humans cannot handle it on their own or when it is too dangerous for humans to help. The @Home League has as goal to develop robots which can be used in domestic or care environments such as hospitals or nursing homes. They can assist humans and perform tasks like carrying patients. The RoboCup @Work challenge is focused on robots in a work-related environment. During RoboCup European Open care robots will compete in the @Home League.
Besides of the 'Major leagues', which are mostly participated by university teams, there are also Junior competitions for pupils/juniors. More than 500 pupils/juniors from different countries are going to participate with their robots in the Junior categories soccers, rescue, and dance in the RoboCup European Open 2016 in Eindhoven.