RoboCup: The Robot World Cup Initiative

What is RoboCup?

The Robot World Cup Initiative (RoboCup) is an attempt to foster AI and intelligent robotics research by providing a standard problem where wide range of technologies can be integrated and examined. For this purpose, RoboCup chose to use soccer game, and organize RoboCup: The Robot World Cup Soccer Games and Conferences. In order for a robot team to actually perform a soccer game, various technologies must be incorporated including: design principles of autonomous agents, multi-agent collaboration, strategy acquisition, real-time reasoning, robotics, and sensor-fusion. RoboCup is a task for a team of multiple fast-moving robots under a dynamic environment. RoboCup also offers a software platform for research on the software aspects of RoboCup.

Currently, RoboCup has:

In future, we may add: The overall description of RoboCup is available from a series of papers, including:

A Brief History of Robot World Cup

The idea of robot playing soccer/football game was first mentioned by
Professor Alan Mackworth (University of British Columnbia, Canada) in a paper titled On Seeing Robots presented at VI-92, 1992. and later published in a book Computer Vision: System, Theory, and Applications, pages 1-13, World Scientific Press, Singapore, 1993. A series of papers on Dynamo robot soccer project was published from his group.
Independently, a group of Japanese researchers organized a Workshop on Grand Challange in Artificial Intelligence in October, 1992 in Tokyo, discussing possible grand challenge problems. In Juny 1993, a serious discussion of using soccer game for promoting science and technology of AI and robotics was started by a group of researchers, including Minoru Asada, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Hiroaki Kitano, and the project was tentatively named as Robot J-League (J-League is a name of newly established Japanese Professional soccer league). Within a month, however, we recieved overwhelming reaction from researchers outside of Japan, reqesting the initiative to be extended for international joint project. Accordingly, we renamed the project as Robot World Cup Initiative, RoboCup for short.
ElectroTechnical Laboratory (ETL), a government research center in Japan, started multi-agent research using soccer, and started the development of the dedicated simulator for soccer games.
In September 1993, we made the first announcement of the initiative, and start drafting the specific regulations and assesment of technical issues organizing the initiative. At this time, already there are few research project was started including Professor Minoru Asada's Lab. at Osaka University, and Carnegie Mellon University.
ETL announced the Soccer Server version 0 (LISP version), the first open system simulator for soccer domain enabling multi-agent systems research.
At the National Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI-94) at Seattle, more detailed discussion were made on RoboCup Initiative involving researchers from US, Europe, and Japan, and key note speah was made by Prof. Minoru Asada on RoboCup Initiaitive in AAAI-94 Workshop.
Soccer Server Version 1.0 (C++ Version) completed, and started distribution through the web site, as well as the first public demonstration was made at IJCAI-95. During the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI-95) held at Montreal, Canada, August, 1995, the announcement was made to organize the First Robot World Cup Soccer Games and Conferences in conjunction with IJCAI-97 Nagoya. At the same time, decision was made to organize Pre-RoboCup-96, in order to identify potnetial problems associated with organizing RoboCup in large scale.
Pre-RoboCup-96 was held during International Conference on Intelligence Robotics and Systems (IROS-96), Osaka, from November 4 - 8, 1996, with eight teams competed in simulation league and demonstration of real robot for middle size league. While limited in scale of the event, this is the first competition on soccer games for promotion of research and education.
The official first RoboCup games and conference was held in 1997 with great success participated by over 40 teams (real and simulation combined), attracting over 5,000 spectators. The RoboCup community is growing very rapidly. RoboCup-98 Paris is expected to have nearly 100 teams, and is expected to be the largest mobile robot events in the history.

What New?

New Web Site Trial

New Offcial Page (Test version)
Japanese Page (Test version) (Test version often contains old information. Please check this main page for up-t-date information.)
Quick look at RoboCup.
Powerpoint Presentation Version 0.5 (in Japanese).
Powerpoint Presentation Version 0.5 (in English).

A list of RoboCup related papers (published in non-RoboCup conferences

The First RoboCup comptetition will be held at IJCAI-97 (International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence) to be held at Nagoya, Japan from August 23 - 29, 1997.

1997 Copyright P.Plailly/Eurelios, All rights reserved.


RoboCup-97 is supported by following sponsors and supporting organizations:



Photo in VSD Magazine

RoboCup-98 Paris will be held during July 2-9, 1998 in Paris at La Cite des Sciences et de l'Industrie. RoboCup-98 Paris is the official Associate Event of The World Cup France 98. RoboCup-98 Paris will be held in conjunction with ICMAS-98 (International Conference on Multiagent System). Details will be announced later.

The First Call for Participation:

Corporate Support Programs

Registration Form

Registation form and Hotel Accomodation Form is now available.

Tentative Schedule

RoboCup Challange is a performance evaluation benchmark sessions, which is a part of IJCAI's official challenge program.

RoboCup-98 Workshop

RoboCup-98 Workshop will be held on July 2, 3, and 9 as a part of RoboCup-98 Paris. Please visit Call For Papers for details.


RoboCup-98 Paris will be held 2-9 July while The Real World Cup is organized in Paris. Therefore, we are expecting major logistical problems. There are few things you can help us in this regards:

Flight Info

For convenience of participants, we provide links to airline web sites. Click here

Tentative Entry for RoboCup-98 Paris

In order to estimate the size of the competitions, and improve our preparation, we would like to know who may be participating before the official deadline for participation. If you are interested in participating the RoboCup-98 Paris, please send e-mail to, with your name, affliation, contact address, and the class of league you are interested in participating. This is a tentative list of participants, and subject to change when official registration is complete. But, we do wish to create this list to let people know who will be participating in RoboCup.

RoboCup-98 Paris Rule Discussions

Discussions are currently going on in robocup-small and robocup-mid mailing list on possible modification of rules for RoboCup-98 Paris. For those who are planning to participate in these league, please subscribe these mailing list and provide us feedback. New rule is modified verison of RoboCup-97 rule. The rule for simulator is already agreed. For current status of rules:

RoboCup Simulator League Exhibition at Autonomous Agent 98

RoboCup Simulator League Exhibition will be held at Autonomous Agent 98 (Agent'98), Minneapolis/St. Paul, May 10-13, 1998. This is a great opportunity for you to test your team before RoboCup-98 Paris.

AAAI-98 Mobile Robot Competition and Exhibition

There will be fields ready for RoboCup Small-size league and Middle-size league at AAAI-98 Mobile Robot Exhibition. July 26-30, 1998, Madison, Wisconsin.

RoboCup Pacific Rim Series 98 Singapore

RoboCup Pacific Rim Series 98 Singapore will be held in conjuction with PRICAI-98 at Singapore.

RoboCup European Workshops and Trials at Ulm, Germany

RoboCup European Workshops and Trials (The Ulm Robotics Week) will be held in mid May, 1998. Please note that date have changed!!

RoboCup Japan Open 98

RoboCup Japan Open 98 will be held in 9-11, April at TEPIA Hall in Tokyo, for all classes of league. Details to be announced later. Although this meeting is mainly for Japanese RoboCup researchers, overseas participants are also welcome.
Sponsors: Detailed information: Current entry:

Small Size League

Middle Size League

Simulator League


Future RoboCup Series

DARS-98 RoboCup Session

DARS-98 will organize special session on RoboCup. Submission deadline is Feb 1, 1998. Please check out details in Call For Paper.

Artificial Intelligence Journal Special Issue on RoboCup

Artificial Intelligence will feature a special issue on RoboCup. Call for paper.

Advanced Robotics Journal Special Issue on RoboCup

Advanced Robotics Journal will feature a special issue on RoboCup. Call for paper.
Springer Verlag: Instruction for Authors

RoboCup Rules

RoboCup Policy of rule changes
RoboCup's rule changes in order to promote science and technology. It will be reviewed annually by the committee, and discussed with participants and other knowledgable researchers in the field to draft out new rules. For example, currently, the global vision system, which is placed fewmeters above the field is permitted. We are plannig to prohibit such a set up shortly. The other major change in rule, which may happend in future, is the removal of all walls around the field. We are planning to make technology accessment when we can achieve the level of technology to do this, and set up target year for such a rule change. Other rules such as off-side will be introduced with the progress of technology. These measures will be taken with the careful evaluation of the technology level achieved. However, in principle, RoboCup's rule will be continuously modified to make it closer to real world, rather than to impose artificial set up to improve superficial performance. If you are planning to participate in RoboCup in future and designing robot now, please keep this in your mind. Major Decision for 98 The rule for simulator and small size is already agreed. For current status of rules:

RoboCup Software Simulator

The Official RoboCup Simulator is available.
Check most recent information on the official version
You can also obtain sample clients and C and C++ libraries.

RoboCup Practice Server at RMIT

The Royal Melborune Institute of Technology (RMIT) now operates the RoboCup Practice Server. You can test your simulator team against other teams registered for practice server. Please visit The RoboCup Practice Server at RMIT. This is a contribution of Simon Ch'ng.

Georgia Tech JavaSoccer

Tucker Balch, Georgia Institute of Technology, developped JavaSoccer, a Java-based simulator for real robot small-size league. JavaSoccer is fully written in Java can be an useful tool for those who are working on real robot league, and wish to run simulation before running their program on real robots.

RoboCup Challenge 97 is a set of short term challenge tasks to promote scientific and engineering research using RoboCup. For the RoboCup Challenge 97, it focuses on particular aspects of AI and robotics issues involved in RoboCup, and offers a set of specific tasks and evaluation procedures.

RoboCup Education Program

RoboCup Education Program aims at establishment of various education program using RoboCup. Example of such courses includes, but not limited to: To establish such course for effective education, we need collaborative efforts, sharing of teaching experiences, exchange of course materials, and a new text book.

Courses using RoboCup

Education Related Papers

In order to faciliate such a sharing of information, RoboCup provides a mailing list.

RoboCup Education Program Mailing List:

RoboCup Natural Language

RoboCup solicit contribution from natural language community on various aspect of RoboCup related NLP research, such as automatic commentary and narrative generation system for RoboCup games. As an example of how RoboCup and natural language related research can be interfaced, VITRA project at DFKI represents potential application of NL research for RoboCup. Elisabeth Andr, Gerd Herzog, and Thomas Rist at DFKI has developed a system VITRA, which produces seen description from visual images of soccer games.

RoboCup Visualization

For simulator league, we are currently developing high-end 3D visualization system. This is a project by Softopia Japan and International Academy for Media and Science (IAMAS), in Gifu, Japan. We are interested in contribution of 3D visualization for: For those who are interestd in contributing such applications, please let us know.

RoboCup Organizations

The RoboCup Federation is an international organization, registered in Switzerland, to organize international effort to promote science and technology using soccer games by robots and software agents. The name The RoboCup Federation is used as an official English name, and Federation Internationle de RoboCup Association is used as a tentative French name. National and joint national committee are organizational members.
For more information on RoboCup, please contact
Hiroaki Kitano (
Sony Computer Science Laboratories
3-14-13 Higashi-Gotanda, Shinagawa
Tokyo 141 Japan
Phone: (+81) 3-5448-4380
FAX: (+81) 3-5448-4273
Other points of contacts are:
Minoru Asada (, Hitoshi Matsubara (, Manuela Veloso (, Peter Stone (, Milind Tambe (, Silvia Coradeschi (, Alexis DROGOUL (, Dominique Duhaut (

Advisory Committee

National Committee

How to build Robots for RoboCup

This is links for home pages which describes how to build robots. They are not necessary related with RoboCup, but these could be helpful sources of information.

Books and Course Materials


Robot System


RoboCup Events Held

IROS-97 Panel: RoboCup --- The Challenge ---

IROS-97 will present RoboCup panel titled RoboCup --- The Challenge --- on 18:00 - 19:00, September, 10, 1997 at Grenoble.

COSMOS-97 JAVA Computing Expo. Exhibition and Lecture on RoboCup

A lecture, Robot World Cup Soccer 1997: A Challenge of AI and Robotics by Hiroaki Kitano, will be held from 13:00 on July 17, 1997 at Tokyo Big Sight Convention Center, as a part of COSMOS-97 Java Computng Expo. This program is in Japanese. RoboCup also display an exhibition booth during Java Computing Expo., and run demonstration of RoboCup Official Soccer Server and JavaSoccer.

JSAI AI-Symposium 95: Special Session on RoboCup

Japanese Society for Artificial Intelligence sponsored the annual symposium on AI. The theme for 1995 symposium is RoboCup. Papers presented can be obtained here.

IROS-96 Workshop: The First International Workshop on Robot World Cup (RoboCup-WS96)

The first RoboCup workshop was held on 4th of Nov. 1996, at Osaka as a part of IROS-96 conference. The workshop was associated with preliminary competition sessions by real robots and by software robots on the simulator. Final Program


The preliminary competition was held to battle test real robot teams and simulator teams. The Pre-RoboCup-96 comptetition was held at IROS-96 to be held at Osaka, Japan from November 4, 1996.
Demonstration Schedule
Simulator League Competition Schedule
Simulator League Competition Results

Applied Artificial Intelligence Journal: Special Issue on RoboCup

Applied Artificial Intelligence (AAI) will feature a Special Issue on RoboCup.(closed, under review)

RoboCup Workshop at ICMAS-96

The RoboCup workshop will be held at the International Conference on Multi-Agent Systems (ICMAS-96) to be held on December, 1997 at Nara. Advanced Program.

RoboCup Board Meeting and Participants Meeting at Agent-97

The RoboCup Board Meeting and Participants Meeting will be held during Agent-97 conference, Marina del Ray. The Board meeting will be held from 3:00PM on Feb. 5th at Suite 218 Marriott Hotel, Marina del Ray (confernece site for Agent-97). The RoboCup participants meeting will be held from 4:00PM on Feb. 5th at Suite 218 Marriott Hotel, Marina del Ray (confernece site for Agent-97). All potential RoboCup participants are welcome. In the participants meeting, we will discuss details of rules and other administrative and technical issues, including recently announced RoboCup Challenge 97. Kitano, Asada, Noda, Stone, Tambe, Duhaut, and others will be there from RoboCup committee.

RoboCup Symposium -- Education and Infrastructure

The RoboCup Japanese National Committee will organize a RoboCup Symposium on Education and Infrastructure. The symposium covers report of the recent progress of RoboCup activities, presentations of educational effects of RoboCon, a Robot Contest by NHK, perspectives of science and technology education by Japanese Government, and panel session of RoboCup Education Program.
Advanced Program

RoboCup Meeting at MAAMAW-97 in Ronneby (Sweden)

The RoboCup Scandinavian Committee will organize a RoboCup meeting in connection with MAAMAW'97. The meeting will be held the 13th of May in Ronneby (Sweden). If you are planning to attend MAAMAW'97 please consider to participate to the meeting. For more information

Robotics Football Tournament during the 4th European Conference on Artificial Life

will be held in Brighton, Sussex, July 28-31. During ECAL-97 conference, the Robotics Football Tournarment will be held. Co-sponsored by ECAL and RoboCup. For details, please see Robotics Football Tournament

RoboCup Mailing List:

RoboCup European Mailing List:

RoboCup JAPANESE Mailing List:

RoboCup Simulator League Mailing List:

RoboCup Simulator Discussion Group

RoboCup Simulator Discussion List is a mailing list for discussion on rules and implementation of RoboCup's official simulator. The list is organized by ISI/USC.

RoboCup Small Size Robot League Mailing List:

RoboCup Middle Size Robot League Mailing List:

Relevant home pages

Jay Scott's soccer home page

Asada Lab. home page

Peter Stone's home page

Milind Tambe's home page

Numbers of visitors since January 21, 1997 :

RoboCup / Sony CSL /