The RoboCupRescue Simulation League is a new practical domain of RoboCup. Its main purpose is to provide emergency decision support by integration of disaster information, prediction, planning, and human interface.
A generic urban disaster simulation environment is constructed on network computers. Heterogeneous intelligent agents such as fire fighters, commanders, victims, volunteers, etc. conduct search and rescue activities in this virtual disaster world. Real-world interfaces such as helicopter image synchronizes the virtuality and the reality by sensing data. Mission-critical human interfaces such as PDA support disaster managers, disaster relief brigades, residents and volunteers to decide their action to minimize the disaster damage.
This problem involves advanced and interdisciplinary research themes. As AI/robotics research, for example, behavior strategy (e.g. multi-agent planning, realtime/anytime planning, heterogeneity of agents, robust planning, mixed-initiative planning) is a challenging problem. For disaster researchers, RoboCupRescue works as a standard basis in order to develop practical comprehensive simulators adding necessary disaster modules.
RoboCupRescue Simulation Project is an open resource of research results. Various people worldwide participate in this simulator for research, entertainment, training, or education via the Internet (See for announcements the Virtual_Robots_Mailing_List). A diverse spectrum of possibilities of this technology will contribute to the creation of the safer social system in the future. The awarded team will be requested to provide the component for the next year's competition. For this reason, teams should accept the open source policy before entering the competition.
The participating universities publish their innovations and progress in their work in a variety of international robotic journals and conferences. See for an overview Publications_on_Virtual_Robots_and_USARSim.
After a demo was run in Osaka during Robocup 2005, the first Virtual Robots competition took place in Bremen during Robocup 2006. Since then, every year a competition is held, with a growing and enthusiast number of teams. Details about upcoming, present and previous competitions can be found on a separate page. This page includes description of the challenges, rules of the competition, documentation of formats and links to the participating teams. Also descriptions of the local competitions can be found on this page.
The Virtual Robot competition is based on the simulation environment USARSim. USARSim is a physical realistic environment based on Unreal Tournament. Currently, USARSim is based on UDK. From 2009 until 2011 USARSim was based on UT3. Until 2009, USARSim was based on UT2004. In principle the interface is the same for the environment, independent if it is based on UDK, UT3 or UDK. There is a shared manual for all three versions. USARSim allows to develop advanced robot control algorithms in a reproducible setting, before those algorithms are tested on a real robot platform.
Version UDK V1.3
Version UT3 VB1.5
On March 11, 2010 UT3 version VB1.5 of USARSim was released on sourceforge. This beta version contains only two mobile robots and a limited number of sensor updates. Check the svn regulary for the latest updates.
On May 28, 2009 UT2004 version 3.37 of USARSim was released on sourceforge. This version contains new robots and sensor model updates. A new Image Server is available, which is downloadable from the Robotics Institute of Carnegie Mellon. The latest version of the Wireless Server depends on a file which is not available in this release, but should be separately downloaded from sourceforge cvs.
On July 3, 2008 UT2004 version 3.31 of USARSim was released on sourceforge. This version contains new robots and new sensor models. The Wireless Communication is now simulated by a separate program, which is downloadable from Jacobs University.
On April 18, 2007 UT2004 version 3.1 of USARSim was released on sourceforge. This release has all of the features and interfaces that are envisioned for the 2007 RoboCup competition.
Note that this release uses a different scale. All previous competition and test worlds have been converted. A good entry point is the DM-Mapping_250 world in the DM-ElementaryTestWorlds. It contains an a priori data file that is of the same type and format that you will receive in the competition. The world currently has declared areas of green and yellow mobility and victims. Communications notations and possibly red areas will be release shortly. There is also a ground truth file to compare your generated maps to, and a vector data file that contains the locations of the victims.
Tools to help you with your development
You do not have to create a controller from scratch when joining the competition. Last year's code is available on this wiki here. In addition, a modular open source controller that is fully compatible with USARSim and performs rescue behaviors is available here.
Rescue Robotics Camp
At several occasions the Istituto Superiore Antincendi - Via del Commercio, 13 - ROME - Italy organized a Rescue Robotics Camp. . The latest camp was held from October 30th to November 3rd 2006. The camp hosted a practical session on UsarSim Title: Communication, Coordination, and Sensor Models in USARSim Tutor: Stephen Balakirsky
Below you can find a brief description of the camp, more details can be found here: Rescue Robotics Camp
The goal of the camp is to provide a theoretical understanding and practical experience in implementing particular robotic capabilities for urban search and rescue (US&R) applications. These capabilities will then be demonstrated within RoboCupRescue competition arenas to test their effectiveness.
Over the course of five days, this camp will guide attendees through several distinct elements of effective response robots and/or associated development tools. Lecturers will introduce state-of-the-art components, approaches, and algorithms applied to response robots for all attendees to understand. Then some lecturer will facilitate hands-on development sessions with a subset team of attendees to implement demonstrable capabilities. The outcome will be modular robotic capabilities, and newfound experience, with each of the technology elements. The final day will include a combined demonstration of capabilities within the RoboCupRescue competition arenas. The products of the camp will be made publicly available as a resource for augmenting other competencies to produce system oriented solutions.
The camp is directed toward people with graduate level interests and capabilities in various areas of robot development. Implementation experience which can contribute to the practical elements described below is particularly sought, but not required. Registrations must include a short CV and an expression of interest to participate in a particular practical element. The final attendee roster will take into account backgrounds and interests, while trying to diversify attendance across organizations, countries, and regions. Accommodations are available within the dormitories of the host fire rescue training facility. And on-site breakfasts and lunches will be available in the coffee bar and cafeteria.