ERL Emergency Service Robots is a civilian outdoor robotics competition, with a focus on realistic, multi-domain emergency response scenarios in urban environments.

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ERL Emergency Service Robots

In the case of emergency situations, robotic systems play a key role by enabling rescue teams to sense and act at a distance from the emergency site. However, emergencies may take place in any scenario, and there is no guarantee of a communication infrastructure or even access to GPS. In order to perform the mission successfully, there is a need for additional competences in the robotic systems. In that sense, this competition wishes to foster advanced developments on autonomous capabilities and seamless outdoor/indoor navigation for robots, as these are important milestones to achieve for emergency robotic systems

To provide teams with realistic challenges that test their robots’ abilities to face real-world situations,the ERL Emergency scenarios have been carefully designed by the project partners and reviewed by an advisory board of experts in field robotics. All the experts have contributed with ideas based on their experience in robotics competitions and in emergency-response sectors.

The competition itself sees international teams of various disciplines and organisations surveying the scene, collecting data, searching for objects of potential interest and identifying critical hazards, all in a race against the clock. After successful years under the euRathlon EU-FP7 project ( and the European Robotics League (ROCKEU2 H2020 project), the latest iteration of the competition takes a step forwards as part of SciRoc, a project funded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 Framework  and inspired by Smart Cities.


SciRoc H2020 ( February 2018 – 2022)

The ERL Emergency Service Robots competition is lead by the Centre for Advanced Aerospace Technologies (CATEC) and includes four partners:

Local competitions in 2018 and 2019 are organised by the Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation (CMRE) and the Centre for Advanced Aerospace Technologies (CATEC), respectively.

Universities, institutions, research centres and companies around Europe can contact SciRoc consortium ( for organising a ERL Emergency local tournament in 2020.

See Tournaments for more information on local organisers.


RockEU2 H2020  (January 2016 – 2018)

The ERL Emergency Service Robots competition was lead by the University of the West of England, UWE Bristol, with local organisation by the Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation (CMRE) and included five partners: