European Robotic League Service Robot Competition

Following the success of the first European Robotics League local tournament of the Service Robots (ERL-SR) competition, which was held in January 2018, the Edinburgh Center for Robotics will host its second ERL-SR local tournament, from the 3rd to the 7th of December 2018.

As in the first round, the second local tournament will take place at Heriot-Watt University’s custom-built assisted living testbed. The laboratory is a 60 square meter, fully sensorised smart robotic space designed to facilitate user-driven design and testing of innovative ICT Robotic solutions for healthy ageing and assisted living

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 first ERL-SR local tournament in Edinburgh was refereed by postdoctoral researchers and undergraduate students from Heriot-Watt. Teams from the UK, Germany and Spain competed in different Task Benchmarks (TBM) and Functionality Benchmarks (FBM). These benchmarks are designed to evaluate how robots can help an elderly person with her day-to-day activities. Robots are required to generate a map of their environment, detect random changes in the location of furniture and other items, interact effectively with humans and demonstrate different behaviors when dealing with known and unknown people, and help them with general tasks throughout the day.

Robotic competitions such as the ERL offer a unique opportunity to break down real-world challenges into a competition format, similar to the UEFA Champions League in football, which is exciting for robotics scientists, the robotics industry and the general public alike. Crucially, they provide a systematic way to compare and evaluate the performance of different systems, and thus ultimately foster the development of effective service robots.

More information, including press releases and videos from the first tournament can be found online at

Please contact Dr. Mauro Dragone if you would like to be involved in the organisation, act as a referee, or participate in in the event.