Sports Competitions for Robots have been around for a while. You may know all about it or it may strike you as something completely new, but robotics competitions exist for soccer, badminton, sumo, wrestling, table tennis, and many more. Robot sports provides extreme environments that push the boundaries of robotics in ways other branches of robotics don’t.
I’m Kenji Brameld (or @ijnek) and I used to participate in RoboCup as a former leader of Team rUNSWift in the Soccer Standard Platform League. While competitions like RoboCup aim to promote research in cutting-edge robotics and AI, unfortunately many teams develop custom solutions to general robotics problems, which:
- increases code-base maintenance burden for the team
- doesn’t make it easier for new teams to join the competition
- isn’t published (the code) in a way that benefits the rest of the robotics community
ROS Sports is an organization that was set up this year to tackle this problem by aiming to develop, release and maintain high-quality foundational ROS 2 packages for robotic sports.
It consists of a group of individuals that wanted to develop packages that can be reused between teams in the competition, and also be reused outside the competition domain. In contrast to a competitive team, we purely focus on advancement of the competitions and contributions to the wider robotics community. So far we have released nine packages amongst others listed here, and we are looking to grow!
We propose starting a community working group for Robot Sports. I know many ROS community members are/have been involved in competitions like RoboCup, so if you share a similar vision, or have some thoughts, let’s get together and discuss it!
Is robot sports useful to the rest of the ROS community? - Absolutely, if you read the blog in the discourse post from the Hamburg Bit-Bots RoboCup team, it is packed with valuable insight in using ROS 2, that apply to a wide variety of robotics projects. That team has been involved in designing a variety of packages for the wider robotics community, and has made many contributions in the form of feature additions / bug fixes to core ROS 2 repositories too. We’re hoping other members of the community can join us in making research reusable for the wider robotics community!
We currently have the following collaborators:
If this lies within your interest, we’d like to hear from you. Please share your thoughts in this thread!