The European Robotics League, funded by the European Commission to advance research, development and innovation in robotics and artificial intelligence, is the umbrella for three robotics competitions: ERL Consumer, ERL Emergency and ERL Professional service robots. All three leagues meet every two years in the ERL Smart Cities Robotics Challenge, showcasing how real robots can make our lives better in urban environments. The Challenge The SciRoc challenge will be held in the smart shopping mall of the Centre:MK. The challenge focuses on smart shopping and is divided into a series of episodes, each consisting of a task to be performed addressing specific research challenges. In order to accomplish their tasks, robots will have to cooperate with the simulated digital infrastructure of a smart shopping mall.
The smart city of Milton Keynes hosted the first edition of the European Robotics League (ERL)- Smart Cities Robotic Challenge (SciRoc Challenge). Ten European teams met in the shopping mall of Centre:mk to compete against each other in five futuristic scenarios in which robots assist humans serving coffee orders, picking products in a grocery shop or bringing medical aid. This robotics competition aims at benchmarking robots using a ranking system that allows teams to assess their performance and compare it with others. The European Robotics League (ERL) was launched in 2016 under the umbrella of SPARC- the Partnership for Robotics in Europe. This pan-European robotics competition builds on the success of the EU-funded projects: RoCKIn, euRathlon, EuRoC and ROCKEU2.
Technology is critical for innovation, yet schools struggle to get students interested in this area. Could teaching robotics change this? The Queensland government has just announced plans to make teaching robotics compulsory in its new curriculum – aimed at students from prep through to year 10. Robotics matches the new digital technologies curriculum, strongly supported by the university sector and states, including Victoria. But while, worldwide, there are increasing initiatives such as the Robotics Academy in the US to teach robotics in schools, Australia isn't doing enough to get it taught in schools.
Europe is focussed on making robots that work for the benefit of society. This requires empowering future roboticists and users of all ages and backgrounds. In its 9th edition, the European Robotics Week (#ERW2019) is expected to host more than 1000 events across Europe. Over the years, and over 5,000 events, the organisers have learned a thing or two about reaching the public, and ultimately making the robots people want. For many, robots are only seen in the media or science fiction.
The European Robotics League has closed a successful first season. Funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 Programme for research, the ERL brings a common framework for two indoor robotics competitions, ERL Industrial Robots and ERL Service Robots and one outdoor robotics competition, ERL Emergency Robots. The three competitions are designed to target three clear objectives: the European societal challenge of an aging population, the strengthening of the European robotics industry and the use of autonomous systems for emergency response. The last tournament of the ERL season 2016/17 took place at the Leon@Home Test bed located at the Módulo de Investigación en Cibernética of the Universidad de León, Spain. The ERL Service Robots local competition organised by Dr Vicente Matellan and the Leon Robotics Group was held from the 13-17 March and consisted of several trials, which mainly took place on the last day.