Robotics competitions provide a valuable platform for evaluating the accomplishments of worldwide teams in shared challenge scenarios. They foster discussions, facilitate knowledge exchange, and enhance research. 

In the upcoming ERF 2024, participants can engage in 4 thrilling robotics Challenges, namely:

  • Robotic Dog Race
  • Robotics in Agriculture
  • Robotic Manipulation in Manufacturing 
  • Drone & Autonomous Vehicle 


The Robotic Dog Race Challenge (RDRC) is a competition supported by the company Eagle Projects, that will provide a series of Unitree Go1Edu legged robots. Following the ICRA 2023 Challenge, the RDRC will add also the autonomous exploration of an unknown environment. The tasks are are crafted to engage/test fundamental abilities essential for robotics engineers. Participants will be challenged in problem-solving skills, strategic planning, and creativity to complete the task.

Main Points of Contact (POC):


The Fruit Harvesting Challenge (FHC) is a competition supported by the companies UnitecUniversal RobotsQB Robotics that will sponsor the challenge by providing two robot arms and two robotic grippers (anthropomorphic soft hands).

As robotics is rapidly expanding in the agricultural context, especially for task automation, and orchard management is one of the less automated scenarios, the motivation of this challenge is to highlight possible solutions for fruit harvesting. The goal is to detect apple fruits directly on the tree and reach them with a robotic arm in order to perform the picking manoeuvre. The challenge has great potential to lead the robotics community in technology advancement, nurture field engineers, and foster interactions with both farmers and technology companies, ultimately leading to the creation of practical services for the farming industry.

Main Points of contact:


The Robotic Manipulation in Manufacturing (RMM) is a competition supported by the companies ABB and Bonfiglioli that will sponsor the challenge by providing a robot arm + components of a commercial gear-reducers to be partially assembled. The challenge is organized by the Scientific Committee of the Doctoral School in Robotics and Intelligent Machines, , that previously engaged several PhD students’ teams in a task requiring the automated manipulation of a dice. Building up on this previous experience, the RMM has evolved to an “industry-driven” challenge resembling a real-world scenario in which multiple components of a real epicyclic gear train are assembled by means of a robotic arm. In order to allow the use of a low payload Cobot, the components to be manipulated will be a 3D printed plastic copy of a commercial mechanical system produced by Bonfiglioli. In practice, the RMM has been conceived to promote pivotal concepts in automated manipulation for Smart Manufacturing and Factories of the Future.

Main Points of contact:


The Robotic Drone Contest (RDC) is a competition supported by the company Leonardo. as an open innovation project that can drive innovation and stimulate new ideas towards increasingly complex requirements. Among these, multiple opportunities for collaborative heterogeneous robotic platform systems are envisaged, such as the inspection of areas affected by natural disasters or sites that are difficult for humans to access, and/or patrolling activities. The purpose of the project is to integrate a system of heterogeneous robotic platforms, both UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) and eventually UGVs (Unmanned Ground Vehicles), capable of moving autonomously in unknown environments and without GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) signal and providing information about the environment in which they operate to a ground control station where the human operator is present.

Main Points of contact:


Prof. Giovanni – University of Genova & Italian Institute of Technology

On behalf of

Prof. Lorenzo Marconi, University of Bologna – ERF 2024 General Chair

Prof. Cristian Secchi, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia – ERF 2024 Program Chair