The European Robotics League (ERL) announced the winners of first ERL Smart Cities Robotic Challenge or SciRoc Challenge, during the awards ceremony held on Saturday, 21st September at the Centre:mk, in Milton Keynes, United Kingdom.

Ten teams met in a smart shopping mall 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.

The awards, given to the best performing team for each episode, were introduced by Matthew Studley from the Bristol Robotics Laboratory and SciRoc Horizon 2020 project coordinator. Then Enrico Motta from the Open University and Director of the SciRoc Challenge 2019 thanked the teams and SciRoc challenge sponsors Milton Keynes CouncilCentre:mkPAL RoboticsOcado TechnologyCOSTA CoffeeCranfield University and Catapult.

Deliver coffee shop orders (E03)

In this episode sponsored by COSTA coffee the robot assists people in a coffee shop by taking orders and bringing objects to and from customers’ tables.

The main functionality evaluated in this episode is person and object perception. Additional functionalities are navigation, speech synthesis and recognition.

1st Prize:  Leeds Autonomous Service Robots

2nd Prize: eNTiTy

Leeds Autonomous Service Robots. Photo credits: European Robotics League.

Take the elevator(E04)

The robot must take the elevator crowded with customers to reach a service located in another floor.

The robot should interact with the MK:DataHub to discover which floor it must reach to accomplish its task. The robot must be able to take the elevator together with regular customers (volunteers from the public) of the shopping mall.

1st Prize: Gentlebots

2nd Prize: eNTiTy 

Team Gentlebots and Team eNTiTy. Photo credits: European Robotics League.

Shopping pick and pack (E07)

The robot is in a grocery shop of the mall. On the shelves of the shop there are goodies displayed for sale to the customers.

In this episode sponsored and designed in collaboration with Ocado Technology, the customer places an order through a tablet. The robot must collect the requested packages and place them in a box ready for the customer to collect.

1st Prize:  b-it-bots

2nd Prize: CATIE Robotics

Through the door (E10)

Doors are ubiquitous in human environments. There are many types of doors, some of which are easier to operate than others for a robot. The robot must identify a door, approach it, open it and enter in the new room.

This episode, funded by EUROBENCH Horizon 2020 project, has been designed in collaboration with PAL Robotics and aims primarily at benchmarking humanoid robots, although it can also benchmark other type of robots. 

1st Prize:  b-it-bots

Team b-it-bots. Photo credits: European Robotics League.

Fast delivery of emergency pills (E12)

The aerial robot must attend an emergency in which a first-aid kit needs to be delivered to a customer.

The robot must fly autonomously to the customer location as fast as possible. The robot needs to detect and avoid possible obstacles on the way, considering that GPS coverage is not always guaranteed.

1st Prize: TeamBathDrones Research

2nd Prize: UWE Aero

TeamBathDrones Research. Photo credits: European Robotics League.

Public choice Award: Most social robot

Volunteers from the public participating in the episodes chose the most social robot by filling the Human-Robot Interaction questionnaires.

Winner: eNTiTy

Team eNTiTy. Photo credits: European Robotics League.

Notes for editors

The European Robotics League is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement n° 780086. 

The SciRoc Challenge 2019 was organised locally by The Open University in Milton Keynes, United Kingdom.

The European Robotics League is part of the SPARC public-private partnership set up by the European Commission and euRobotics to extend Europe’s leadership in civilian robotics. SPARC’s €700 million of funding from the Commission in 2014̶20 is being combined with €1.4 billion of funding from European industry. 

euRobotics is a European Commission-funded non-profit organisation which promotes robotics research and innovation for the benefit of Europe’s economy and society. It is based in Brussels and has more than 250-member organisations.