Robot League

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Rescue Robot League Overview


The RoboCupRescue Robot League is an international league of teams with one objective: Develop and demonstrate advanced robotic capabilities for emergency responders using annual competitions to evaluate, and teaching camps to disseminate, best-in-class robotic solutions. The RoboCupRescue has also a Simulation League.


The league hosts annual competitions to 1) increase awareness of the challenges involved in deploying robots for emergency response applications such as urban search and rescue and bomb disposal, 2) provide objective performance evaluations of mobile robots operating in complex yet repeatable environments, and 3) promote collaboration between researchers. Robot teams demonstrate their capabilities in mobility, sensory perception, localization and mapping, mobile manipulation, practical operator interfaces, and assistive autonomous behaviors to improve remote operator performance and/or robot survivability while searching for simulated victims in a maze of terrains and challenges.

Meanwhile, the annual competitions provide direct comparison of robotic approaches, objective performance evaluations, and a public proving ground for capable robotic systems that will ultimately be used to save lives.

Competition Vision

When disaster happens, minimize risk to search and rescue personnel while increasing victim survival rates by fielding teams of collaborative mobile robots which enable human rescuers to quickly locate and extract victims. Specific robotic capabilities encouraged in the competition include the following: 

  • Negotiate compromised and collapsed structures
  • Locate victims and ascertain their conditions
  • Produce practical sensor maps of the environment
  • Establish communications with victims
  • Deliver fluids, nourishment, medicines
  • Place sensors to identify/monitor hazards
  • Mark or identify best paths to victims
  • Provide structural shoring for responders

These tasks are encouraged through challenges posed in the arena, specific mission tasks, and/or the performance metric. Demonstrations of other enabling robotic capabilities are always welcome.


The main objective of our league is to conduct challenging and fair competitions that inform teams about the tasks necessary to be effective for responders. We also need to measure progress in our robotic systems to highlight breakthrough capabilities that responders can understand and appreciate. Ten or more successful repetitions begin to indicate a reliable capability. A series of trials across a suite of complementary tests begin to evaluate the system.

The RoboCup Rescue competition is organized in a format that resembles Response Robot Exercises. These have been effective in communicating capabilities between robot manufacturers and responders. Each robot will be evaluated in standard and draft standard test methods during Preliminaries to demonstrate functionality, reliability, operator proficiency, and autonomous/assistive capabilities. The resulting scores will qualify them for a "deployment" into a more complicated scenario in the Finals. This will enable concurrent testing opportunities for more robots to capture statistically significant performance. It will also encourage testing in more complex or difficult settings, challenging robots beyond their comfort level to compile more points.

The Finals will remain a comprehensive search and identification of simulated victims in the overall maze for the best performing robots. Each qualified team is allowed one robot. The maze will consist of all the same test apparatuses and tasks. As always, the search scenario will be conducted from random start zone and performed in any order of tasks the team chooses.

Again we will instantiate a rigorous, standardized process for practicing and measuring league capabilities throughout the year, with competitions being the public demonstration of those capabilities and sharing of results. So we encourage you to build and practice these tests during your development. Then demonstrate your capabilities at competition time for scores.

This new structure will help our league communicate emerging capabilities to responders and allow them to guide such capabilities toward deployment. Local responders may come watch the competition and potentially demonstrate their own robots. This will familiarize them with the test methods and our emerging capabilities, making RoboCup Rescue a leading incubator for robots and test methods worldwide.


  • Trustees
    • Gerald Steinbauer, Graz University of Technology, Austria
    • Jackrit Suthakorn, Mahidol University, Thailand
    • Adam Jacoff, National Institute of Standards and Technology, USA (Trustee Emeritus)
    • Satoshi Tadokoro, Tohoku University, Japan (Trustee Emeritus)
  • Executive Committee
    • Jafar Chegini,Iran (1st Term) (Exec 2015-2018)
    • Sören Schwertfeger, Germany/China (1st Term) (Exec 2016-2019)
    • Tetsuya Kimura, Nagaoka Univ. of Technology, Japan (1st Term) (Exec 2016-2019)
    • Raymond Sheh, Australia (2nd Term) (Exec 2017-2020)
    • Jackrit Suthakorn, Mahidol University, Thailand (Exec Emeritus)
    • Andreas Birk, International University Bremen, Germany (Exec Emeritus)
    • Tetsuya Kimura, Nagaoka Univ. of Technology, Japan (Exec Emeritus)
    • Johannes Pellenz, University of Koblenz-Landau, Germany (Exec Emeritus)
  • Technical Committee
    • Masayuki Okugawa, Japan (TC 2015-2018)
    • Sakol Nakdhamabhorn (TC 2016-2019) 
    • Raimund Edlinger (TC 2016-2019)
    • Mehdi Dadvar (TC 2016-2019) 
    • Sören Schwertfeger, Germany (TC Emeritus)
    • Gerald Steinbauer, Austria (TC Emeritus)
    • Tetsuya Kimura, Nagaoka Univ. of Technology, Japan (TC Emeritus)

  • Organizing Committee
    • Local Chair: Nick Roussos
    • Adam Jacoff (NIST, USA)
    • Johannes Pellenz (BAAINBw, Germany)
    • Ann Virts (NIST, USA)
    • Kenneth Kimble (NIST, USA)
    • Kamel Saidi, (NIST, USA)
    • Ehsan Mihankhah (Singapore)
    • Xieyuanli Chen


RoboCup Rescue Complete Rule Book

NEW 2017 Rule Book UPDATED

Hazmat Labels that will be used during the competition.

Qualification Process

The RoboCupRescue Robot League encourages participation by interested organizations from around the world, but limits participation to one team per organization. Regional open competitions are hosted around the world to provide essential practice deployment experience for teams and to support qualification of teams for the World Championship competition each year. The World Championship includes a maximum of 5 teams from each regional open competition, which are typically the three awardees and up to two more teams based on the previous year’s awards, Best-In-Class demonstrations in the current year, and other considerations noted below.

RoboCupRescue Robot League regional open competitions are hosted in Japan, Germany, Iran, Thailand, Mexico, and we are actively trying (but need help from locals) to establish regional open competitions in other areas as well. All teams should use regional open competitions to:

  • Practice your deployment strategies,

  • Familiarize yourselves with the arenas and rules, and

  • Demonstrate your capabilities to the Technical Committee.

Unfortunately, due to the close scheduling of the regional open competitions and the World Championship each year, the qualification process can't be completely sequential because teams sometimes have trouble making it to the World Championship on short notice. So the Technical Committee qualifies an initial set of teams each year for the World Championship based on performance in the previous year’s competition and their updated team description papers. Teams that win a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place award at any regional open competition and submit a team description paper are qualified for the World Championship competition in that year and the following year.

The Technical Committee usually keeps a few slots open in the World Championship competition to include additional capable teams that emerge from the regional open competitions each year. When there is no regional open competition in the region of the World Championship, the technical committee typically qualifies proportionally more teams from the local region, while encouraging them to try to participate in other regional open competitions as well. At large qualifications may also be granted for teams in regions without a regional open competition. Although it is clear that the best route to participate in a World Championship competition is to perform well in a regional open competition and write a good team description paper. You will find the lessons learned from both are well worth the effort.

Each year the Technical Committee looks at the following criteria to qualify teams for the World Championship:

  • Your TDP which describes improvements to your robot based on lessons learned from the previous year’s competitions that produced a semi-final round appearance in the World Championship, a Best-In-Class award in the World Championship, or a Place award in a regional open.
  • Your TDP describes a particularly interesting or innovative approach that the Technical Committee considers likely to perform well at the World Championship competition even without previous experience at a regional open competition, especially when there is not yet a regional open competition nearby to you. This is especially possible if you can demonstrate your capabilities convincingly within representative arena apparatuses through video of the robot performing any or all of the requisite capabilities:
  • advanced mobility (traversing random stepfields or confined space cubes)
  • navigation (wall following, centering between obstacles or constrictions)
  • localization and mapping (2D/3D maps, SLAM on non-flat-flooring i.e. pitch/roll ramps, low-profile stepfields)
  • directed perception (visual acuity for near/far/dark/light, sensor probing into voids, sometimes with reaching)
  • victim identification (fusion of the various sensory signals to improve confidence and reduce errors)
  • autonomy (assistive features, bounded intervals, or fully autonomous performance of any or all of the above)
  • effective operator interfaces

Finally, some qualifications for the World Championship may be granted by the Technical Committee to include particular countries in the league, encourage technologies that the league should be investigating, or to support other league outreach efforts.


Will be announced March 30.

RoboCup 2018 Information

Location: Montréal Canada

  • Dates: 15 June to 22 June, 2018

Important Dates:

  • Mar 30, 2018 Announcement of first round of qualified teams.

RoboCup 2017 Scores

Congratulations All Teams who Competed in RoboCup Rescue 2017 Competition. Looking forward to seeing you all in Canada.

Winnersv3.jpg Best2017.jpg Aerial2017.jpg

RoboCup Champions

Year Location 1st Place Team 2nd Place Team 3rd Place Team
2016 Leipzig,Germany iRAP Robot MRL GETbot
2015 Hefei,China MRL iRAP_Junior YRA
2014 Joao Pessoa, Brazil Hector Darmstadt MRL BART Lab
2013 Eindhoven, The Netherlands iRAP_Furious Ovec_Soomkor (2nd) STABILIZE (2nd)
2012 Mexico City - Mexico MRL Hector Darmstadt STABILIZE and YRA
2011 Istanbul, Turkey iRAP_Judy MRL STABILIZE
2010 Singapore iRAP_Pro BART LAB Rescue Success (Tied for Second)
2009 Graz, Austria iRAP_Pro Pelican United MRL
2008 Suzhou, China Plasma_RX Resko and Resquake (Jointed Team) MRL
2007 Atlanta, USA Independent Pelican United CEO Mission II
2006 Bremen, Germany Independent Pelican United MRL

Year Best in Autonomy Best in Dexterity Best in Mobility Best in Exploration UAV Pilot Interface Award
2016 TEDUSAR UPROBOTICS (120cm) CUASS RRR (60cm) iRAP (120cm) NuBot (60cm) MRL (120cm) YILDIZ (60cm) XXXX XXXX
2015 Hector Darmstadt UpRobotics iRAP_Junior XXXX XXXX Hector Darmstadt & MRL
2014 Hector Darmstadt YRA MRL XXXX YRA TEDUSAR
2013 Hector Darmstadt UP-Robotics iRAP_Furious XXXX XXXX XXXX

Research State of the Art

Other Information

2018 Assembly Guide for RoboCup