The rulebook for 2016 can be downloaded here. The following page describes some core elements of the rules.


The competition tasks result directly from the list of scientifical and industrial challenges. The actual tasks are defined as a set of so-called tests. A competition is organized in two stages of increasing complexity. Each stage consists of a number of tests.

Stage 1
Basic Navigation Testcan the robots navigate well in their environment, i.e. in a goal-oriented, autonomous, robust, and safe way
Basic Manipulation Testdemonstrate basic manipulation capabilities by the robots, like grasping, turning, or placing an object
Basic Transportation Test assess the ability of the robots for combined navigation and manipulation tasks
Stage 2
Conveyor Belt Testgrasp objects from a running conveyor belt
Precision Placement Testdrop objects precisely into cavities


The competition arena is a rectangular area no less than 2 m x 4 m and no more than 4 m x 6 m. It is surrounded by walls. The height of the walls is no less than 20 cm and no more than 40 cm. One or more gates may be foreseen, where robots can enter or leave the arena. Gates may or may not be closable.

The floor is made of some firm material. Examples include floors made of concrete, screed, timber, plywood, chipboard, laminated boards, linoleum, PVC flooring, or carpet.

Arenas contain one or more service areas, which have specific purposes for a particular test. Examples include loading and unloading areas, conveyor belts, rotators, storage areas, etc. Service areas may contain specific environment objects, such as racks, shelves, etc.

The objects for manipulation will include a wide range of objects relevant in industrial applications of robotics and eventually cover any raw material, semi-finished parts, and finished parts and products as well as tools and possibly operating materials required for manufacturing processes. The intention is to start with a simple set of objects of different shapes and colors and to widen the spectrum every year in at least one aspect. The initial set of objects includes cuboids, hexagons, cylinders, spheres (balls), and rings. The weight of each object may not exceed 250 g. Each object must be shaped such that it can be grasped with a parallel gripper with an opening span not wider than 7 cm.


The robots need to comply with certain size constraints. A robot, including all parts attached to it as used in the competition, must be able to move by itself into a configuration so that it fits into a cube of side lengths 80 cm x 50 cm x 80 cm (length x width x height). If all the robot's parts, such as manipulator or anything able to protrude outside of the previously specified cube, are fully extended, the system must still not exceed a cube of side lengths 120 cm x 80 cm x 160 cm (length x width x height). The organizers may specify further constraints, such as weight limits.

The following assumptions are made about the kind of robots used in the competition:

  • At least one of the robots used by a team is mobile and moves on wheels. No specific assumptions are made about the kinematic design, but the mobile robots should be able to move on basically flat, sufficiently firm surfaces.
  • The robots have at least one manipulator and are able to grasp objects, which are graspable by a parallel gripper with a jaw width of at least 5 cm and do not weigh more than 250 g.
  • The robots use sensors to obtain information about their whereabouts in the environment and the task-relevant objects. The major types of sensors that may be used by the robots include:
    - laser range finders (cf. models by Hokuyo or Sick)
    - color CCD cameras (cf. any kind of USB camera)
    - 3D cameras (such as the Kinect camera)

The design of the scenario should be such that the robots can solve the tasks safely and robustly using (all or a subset of) these sensors. Future competitions may foresee the use of RFID sensors in the scenario design.