Searching For The Next Robot Soccer AIBO

Without a doubt, the most eye-catching and entertaining aspect of the RoboCup competitions so far as been the sight of a whole field of AIBO robot dogs playing soccer for all they are worth. Unfortunately for AIBO fans, robot fans in general, and the RoboCup organization specifically, Sony canceled AIBO production which means that sooner or later a comparable robot replacement will have to take the field.

Of course, no robot could ever completely replace the cute AIBO design in our hearts. Nevertheless, the RoboCup Federation has taken the initiative to issue a 'Call for Tenders: A Standard Robot Platform for Robot Soccer' to all robot manufacturers worldwide, actively looking for a way to continue and extend the standardized robotic platform aspects of the RoboCup competitions.

The new Call for Tender, which was brought to our attention by Howard Gordon - the CEO and founder of Surveyor Robotics, spells out the basic requirements for the robotic platform. The primary intent is that all the teams use a common hardware platform. This is intended to encourage them to focus on the software and strategy in order to win. In fact, if possible the resulting regulations will preclude any hardware modifications to the robots whatsoever.

The tender includes a long 'wish-list' including requirements that the robot have an operating system and software development system, that it be designed in a modular and upgradeable fashion, have multiple degrees of freedom, feature directed perception, onboard color vision, be capable of fully autonomous operation, and many other 'wishes' that may or may not turn out to be practical.

While AIBO was a quadruped, the new robot platform doesn't have to be four legged. This opens the door for a standard humanoid platform - something a lot of us would really like to see happen. Howard and the folks at Surveyor have well developed sensor and processing expertise and are actively looking for partners with humanoid robot mechanical work with to tackle this project 

A copy of the tender document in pdf format is included below.

Related links:

Call for Tenders: Standard Robot Platform for Robot Soccer (pdf file)

RoboCup Organization Website

Surveyor Robotics Website


2 thoughts on “Searching For The Next Robot Soccer AIBO

  1. Thanks Lem, another interesting development that can accelerate the evolution of the humanoid robot. The time has come to progress beyond soccer playing dogs and put the game back in the hands (feet) of bipeds where it really belongs.


  2. I think Bioloid would be a great platform for this. If I ran the RoboCup, I’d say you can build anything you want as long as it uses only standard Bioloid hardware, and (perhaps) doesn’t use continuous rotation (i.e. no wheels). So we might see quadrupeds, bipeds, hexapods, and other beasties all sharing the field.

    Of course the standard Bioloid sensors don’t include color recognition, I think. But maybe they could make a new Dynamixel sensor unit tailored to this task.

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