Call for Participation

Call for Participation

RoboCup Humanoid League Virtual Season 2021/22

December 17th 2021 to April 30th, 2022

The RoboCup Humanoid League is inviting interested teams to apply for participation in the Humanoid League Virtual Season.

The Humanoid League will host competitions in the following categories:
* KidSize: 40 – 100cm robot height (FIFA size 1 ball)
* AdultSize: 130 – 200cm robot height (FIFA size 5 ball)

For more detailed class definitions and more information about the humanoid league, please refer to the humanoid league home page at https://humanoid.robocup.org/, specifically the robot specifications found at https://humanoid.robocup.org/hl-vs2022/

Humanoid League Virtual Season

A virtual soccer competition will be organized similar to RoboCup 2021 but distributed over several months with games every other week.

Since the Virtual Humanoid Soccer Competition will be held entirely online, all teams registering for the competition will be admitted. The exact tournament format will be announced once the number of participating teams is known.

Details on the setup and implementation will be published and continuously updated on the RoboCup Humanoid League website:https://humanoid.robocup.org/hl-vs2022/

1.1. Simulator & Game Rules

As in RoboCup 2021, Webots with the Humanoid League simulation world, the automatic refereeing system, and the simulation interface will be used.

We keep the specifications of the simulation interface and the server up to date on the this link: https://humanoid.robocup.org/hl-vs2022/

Currently, the automatic refereeing system and the simulation world are being worked on. Most significantly, domain randomization will be introduced. This includes reasonably uneven ground, randomized reset positions of the robots starting poses, and varying lighting conditions, backgrounds and ball textures. As with any major change during the competition, these will be announced and finalized 3 weeks before the next game. Bug Fixes are not subject to this deadline.

Robot models must be submitted 2 weeks before the start of the competition to be verified. If you would like to update your robot model during the season it must be submitted by Monday 8am CET of the week the next game is scheduled.

The rules of the virtual game will initially be the ones used for RoboCup 2021 but will be updated during the competition. The 3 week notice period also applies here to allow teams to adapt their software.

1.2. Competition Schedule

Matches will be played approximately every other week (see preliminary schedule). Whether Saturday or Sunday will be the day of streaming will be determined by a vote of the participating teams during the sign-up process.

Two workshops are planned (see dates below) with a focus on sim2real transfer. Further information on these will follow soon.

Matchday 1:         Dec 18th / 19th
Matchday 2:         Jan 8th / 9th
Matchday 3:         Jan 22nd / 23rd
Workshop 1:         Jan 28th/29th/30th
Matchday 4:         Feb 5th / 6th
Matchday 5:         Feb 19th / 20th
Matchday 6:         Mar 5th / 6th
Matchday 7:         Mar 19th / 20th
Matchday 8:         Apr 2nd / 3rd
Workshop 2:         Apr 8th/9th/10th
Matchday 9:         Apr 16th / 17th
Matchday 10         Apr 30th/ May 1st

Please note that the exact dates of the games are subject to change in case of significant bugs in the simulation or automatic refereeing software or an overlap with regional RoboCup tournaments. In these cases, the teams will be notified as early as possible about a shift in the game schedule.

1.3. Competition Setup

The competition will be performed entirely in the cloud. Each team is guaranteed to play a minimum of 8 games. The exact tournament format will be announced once the number of participating teams in each size class has been determined.

Details of the server specification are the same as in RoboCup 2021 and can be found here https://humanoid.robocup.org/hl-vs2022/

The deadline for teams uploading their software is Thursday, if Saturday is selected as matchday, and Friday if Sunday is selected. The simulation will then be run in the cloud and a video of the match streamed online on the match days. Access to log files will be provided to teams after the match has been streamed.

Teams will be given possibilities to test the setup of the competition. Several test scenarios will be offered to teams in early December. These scenarios will be similar to the ones offered during the mock competition. Teams must pass the tests in the order presented if they have not already proven so during previous virtual competition that they pass these tests.

*Robot model inspection*: A manual inspection is carried out by members of the TC, making sure that the model does not crash or significantly slows down the simulator. The TC also checks that the team.json is in the proper format and all fields are set.

*Connection test*: We launch a simulator with one robot instance, and we start a game to verify whether Webots accepts the connection.

*Walking test*: We launch a simulator with one robot instance, and we start a game with a cap of 5 minutes real time. We inspect the video for evidence of the robot being able to walk in the ready or play state.

*Penalty shoot-out*: We launch a simulator and one robot instance with the teams being paired (if possible). Teams need to be able to move the ball to pass.

*Short game*: We launch a simulator and 4 robot instances with the teams being paired (when it is possible). The game time is capped to 2.5 minutes per half time, RR style. Teams need to be able at least  to touch the ball to pass.

If custom test scenarios are required by teams to test specific components of the cloud infrastructure together with the team’s software, please let us know.

1.3. Registration

The registration process for the Humanoid League Virtual Season is done in two steps. First, you need to submit general data about your team via the submission system of the Humanoid League: http://submission.robocuphumanoid.com/. All teams that fulfill the formal requirements are automatically qualified to participate. 

The following data is required:

* Team name
* URL of the team’s home page
* Name of team leader or team contact person
* E-mail address of team leader or contact person
* Postal address of the team, team leader or contact person
* Competition category: Humanoid League Virtual Season Kid or Adult
* Letter of Commitment 

Please note that teams applying for participation in several classes must register individually for each class and pay the appropriate registration fee.

The registration form must be filled out online at http://submission.robocuphumanoid.org/

In the second step, the teams must pay a fee of $340 for the entire tournament season (including a minimum of 8 games plus tests). Payment needs to be made to the Federation via Wire Transfer or PayPal. Detailed instructions are sent to teams after registration. Please note that teams need to cover the respective transfer and conversion fees that apply for your country when transferring money to the US. For PayPal, US-based teams need to pay 2% of processing fees (around 7 USD), for international teams a 4% processing fee applies (around 14 USD). The fees for wire transfer depend on the country and specific bank.

1.4. Submission of Robot Model File

Robot models used in the competition must comply with the specifications published here: https://humanoid.robocup.org/hl-vs2022/

They must be submitted by December 1st, 2021.

Teams are highly encouraged to make their robot model available to the research community with an open-source license. This is, however, not a requirement for participation. In order for the Technical Committee to ensure the robot models comply with the laws of the game, the full robot file needs to be made available to the Technical Committee during the qualification process.

1.5. Registration Fee

Each team must pay a registration fee of $340. This fee will only be used to cover the costs to run the simulations of the games and tests in the cloud. All work (e.g. automatic referee development or organisation) is done by volunteers.

The amount is calculated by using the experience from RoboCup 2021 and projecting it to the number of games we plan.

Any extra funds will be used for future Humanoid League Virtual Seasons as a buffer.

2. Submission System

The submission system will be opened Monday November 15th and all application material
must be submitted online at http://submission.robocuphumanoid.com/.

3. Deadlines

Registration system open: November 16th, 2021
Deadline for submission: December 3rd, 2021
Deadline for payment of registration fee: December 10th, 2021
Submission of robot model file: December 1st, 2021

With best regards,
Technical Committee of RoboCup Humanoid League 2021