The aim in Europe is to help research teams to spend part of their research in this testbed so that the European technological resources could highly benefit and keep on being competitive (thus, collaborative) with respect to Asia and America.  This is therefore the proper moment to encourage basic events such as Euroconferences, Practical Training Courses and Summer Schools in order to avoid that European technology cannot keep up with the rest of the world. 
    •  Real Demonstrations. The real demonstrations will be developed under emulation of competitions that will be the real test of the theoretical aspects presented previously. In parallel to the scientific conferences a tournament will be held to evaluate the efficiency of the different research, technologies, and developments.  As for the international development, we will start this type of competition by using the international rules edited by the FIRA and RoboCup community, which are the international organisations in this domain.
    • Summary Meeting. A summary meeting will follow the parallel competitions.  Conclusions about several aspects of the research will be obtained.  Moreover, the industrial applicability will be evaluated. The definition of some standard platform for entertainment, research, and education will be defined.  An European standard should emerge from these conferences to benefit the industry-university paradigm (today, the USA propose to build teams of robots with the requirements and objectives of this testbed, which can, and should be, done at an European level).
    • European Stream.  One issue of these EUROBOT activities is to present a large European stream of research in the major international conferences related to this subject: ICMAS, IEEE in Robotics and Automation, IJCAI, IROS (all of these conferences are associated to FIRA or RoboCup competition).

       Other Features of EUROBOT

    To take the spirit of science and technology to the laymen and the younger generation, and promote the university – industry – society paradigms is very important. 
    To achieve this objective EUROBOT-EU will seek, as FIRA proposes, to bring together skilled researchers and students from different backgrounds, such as robotics, sensor fusion, intelligent control, communication, image processing, mechatronics, computer technology, artificial life, simulation etc., into a growing new interdisciplinary field for the development of intelligent, autonomous, football_robots to play the game of football. 
    EUROBOT-EU games will be held every year with an aim to promote the developments in autonomous football_robots and intelligent systems that can cooperate with each other and to contribute to the state of the art advancements in these specialised fields, under the supervision of the current international organisations. 

    To further enhance this objective EUROBOT-EU will work towards the establishment of a science and technology european cup. 

    The Euroconferences will contain emulation of competitions, from a scientific point of view.  They will be an European oportunity (balance, equilibrium) to the actual competition sponsored by IEEE Robotics and Automation Society, AI societies, and the FIRA organisation of Korea and RoboCup of Japan. 

    The EUROBOT Practical Training Courses aim to explain and exchange recent technological and scientific improvements and developments of the participating teams all over Europe. This has an extraordinary added value because real demos for skilled senior researchers are the basis of these courses.  Real demos imply to have robotic teams’ participants in scientific competitions, where all technical features are tested in real-like operating conditions.  Real demos contain obviously much more added value than the existing videotape based or simulation results. This added value is due to in site inspection developments by people from other research teams, and the scientific discussion is therefore richer. To organise this kind of events in Europe is necessary in order to have sufficient skilled robotic and human teams and to maintain an European leadership in the international community. 


    This idea is refereed world-wide by important scientists in the field of robotics and artificial intelligence who are already involved in this kind of research: 

    Here is a list of very active people (outside of Europe) in the field of mobile robotics research with this testbed: 
    •    Minoru ASADA   University of Osaka    Japan 
    •    Alan MACKWORTH  University of British Columbia   Canada 
    •    Sean LUKE    University of Maryland   USA 
    •    Hiroaki KITANO   Sony Computer Science Laboratory  Japan 
    •    Itsuki NODA   Electromechanical Lab Tokyo   Japan 
    •    Andrew PRICE   Royal Melbourne Inst of Technology  Australia 
    •    John Hwan KIM   KAIST Taejon     Korea 
    •    Tishio FUKUDA  Nagoya University     Japan 
    •    Randy SARGENT   Newton lab,  MIT    USA 
    •    Manuela VELOSO   University of Carnegie Mellon   USA 
    This list tries to show that this subject is alive in several very famous centres of research. 
    Leading private multinational companies from Japan (SONY and HONDA), Korea (SAMSUNG and LG) and the USA (SUN) invest a lot in this idea and aggressively compete with each other.   We expect that European industries (THOMSON, and others) will join this project in the following years. 
    Young researchers are the special target of this proposal since the EUROBOT ideas are especially attractive for the younger scientific generations.  They will have much more facilities to TEST technology and PROVE research on this testbed (which will become universal in few years) than older scientists had some time ago.  Industrial developments will be transferred more easily than before from universities and research centres to the industry, because the EUROBOT Euroconferences will be the ideal demonstration environment for both research and industrial needs. And, the Practical Training Courses will be the tool to convince seniors to create research teams on the topics promoted by the testbed.  It is absolutely necessary to be competitive, and leaders, in this cutting edge technologies and to improve the research-industry transfer.  Therefore, it is of the utmost importance to have younger scientific generations skilled in this testbed.  Since this testbed is a big integrated system, interdisciplinary research and researchers (at any age) from several backgrounds will work on it.  They will learn to deal with as well time constraints, material development, teamwork, industrial delays as the proper interface to the industrial development. That is why these TMR Practical Training Courses are so essential for the related TMR series of EUROBOT Euroconferences and Summer Schools. 
    Remark that the participation of senior researchers to call for PhD students in the competition is crucial. 

    To invite researchers from eastern European countries is also considered.  They equally have technological lacks to enter in these EUROBOT conferences, thus this action tries to promote their participation. 

    These courses are necessary to introduce doctorate students into this new field and to spread robot-football teams based research all over Europe.  The Practical Training Courses are oriented to obtain new human teams around the subject who participate in European and world competitions and who start their research in the testbed of this proposal. 
    A non-exhaustive list of subjects to be analysed in the Practical Training Courses follows hereafter: 
    •   Electronics & Communication
    •   Software design & Real-Time Control
    •   Mechanics & Energy
    •   High speed control & Supervision
    •   Artificial Intelligence (AI)
    •   Vision & Sensors
    •   Agent Behaviour & Distributed AI
    •   Simulation & Real systems implementation.


    EUROBOT offers significant long-term challenges, which will take over a few decades to accomplish.  However, the clarity of the final target allows deducing several sub-goals which define mid-term and short-term challenges.  One of the major reasons why EUROBOT attracts so many researchers, is that it requires the integration of a broad range of technologies into a team of complete agents, as opposed to a task-specific functional module.  The list of long-term research issues is extremely broad.  It is clear that the challenges exposed in 4.A (abstract) will involve a broad range of technological issues ranging from the development of physical components, such as high performance batteries and motors, to highly intelligent real-time perception and control software. 

    The mid-term technical challenges, which are the target for the next 10 years, are more concrete, and a partial list of specific topics can be compiled.  Hereafter follows a partial list of the research areas involved in EUROBOT, to be carried out within a mid-term time span: 

    • Integrated Systems
    • Agent Architecture in general and Multi-agent systems in general
    • Combining reactive approach and modelling/planning approach
    • Real-time recognition, planning, and reasoning
    • Reasoning and action in dynamic environment
    • Sensor fusion
    • Behaviour learning for complex tasks
    • Strategy acquisition
    • Cognitive modelling in general
    • Mechatronics
    • Real-time systems
    • Entertainment Robotics
    In addition to these technologies, providing network-based football server with high quality 3D graphics capability requires a substantial progress of the technologies to be applied to the real-time animation of simulated football players and the network-based interactive multi-user server system.  These are key technologies for network-based services in the coming years. 
    The EUROBOT challenge should be understood in the context of larger and longer term challenges, rather than a one-shot challenge.  Thus, we wish to provide a series of short-term challenges, which automatically lead to the accomplishment of the mid-term and long-term challenges. 



    We are doing a prospective work on the collaboration of companies in this project.  The interest of multinational companies from Asia and America makes us confident that we will succeed in the obtaining of the participation of European enterprises.  The big European companies that are potentially interested are THOMSON, FRANCE TELECOM, PHILIPS, ALCATEL, etc. 

    For the scientific diffusion:  the call for participation will be diffused by the Internet, through the proceedings of EUROBOT, and through the co-operation of the international community that is refereeing on the EUROBOT events (see the call for papers in the next sections). 

    For the industrial companies and public diffusion:   these events will receive big announcement by standard media like TV, radio, and newspapers. Actually, several channels of TV and a lot of newspapers already discussed this idea.  Just as an example, two major French newspapers (le Monde, and le Figaro) and two mass French journals (VSD, and Science et Avenir) and several French, Spanish, British and American TV channels (Canal Plus France and Spain, TV3, LCI, and CNN international) have spoken about this event. 

    EUROBOT in fact presents the first Practical Training Course as the first event of a series.  Taking into account the big expectations and the very long-term issues of the proposal, there exist big guaranties that this event will last for several years.