THE EUROPEAN PROJECT
ON NEW TESTBEDS
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
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
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.
IMPORTANCE AND BENEFITS OF EUROBOT ACTIVITIES
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
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.
RELATION OF THE EUROBOT AND 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
Tishio FUKUDA Nagoya University
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.
WHAT IS THE IMPORTANCE FOR THE INDUSTRY
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
ABOUT YOUNG RESEARCHERS. THEY ARE SPECIAL TARGET BECAUSE EUROBOT
IS HIGHLY APPEALING.
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:
Agent Architecture in general and Multi-agent systems
Combining reactive approach and modelling/planning
Real-time recognition, planning, and reasoning
Reasoning and action in dynamic environment
Behaviour learning for complex tasks
Cognitive modelling in general
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.
ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF ENTERPRISES PARTICIPATION
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,
DIFFUSION OF THE CALL FOR PARTICIPATION AND DISSEMINATION OF RESULTS
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.