The 5th International RoboCup Middle Size League Workshop was held in Aveiro, Portugal

In 2015, the RoboCup MSL International workshop took place in Aveiro, Portugal, on November 23th, 24th and 25th, during the European Robotics Week. Call for participation can be found here. An average number above 30 people, from five different MSL teams, participated during this three day period of the Workshop.


V MSL Workshop Schedule
Monday, 23rd November
12h00 Reception
13h00 Lunch
14h00 Opening Session
14h30 Presentation Carpe Noctem Cassel
15h00 Presentation ASML-Falcons
15h30 Presentation Minho Team
16h00 Presentation Tech United
16h30 Presentation Wouter
17h00 Presentation CAMBADA
17h30 Invited Talk (Prof. Luis Almeida)
18h00 Social Event
Tuesday, 24th November
09h00 Hands-on Session (includes light meal)
18h00 Free Time
Wednesday, 25th November
08h30 Wrap-up Session
Rules Discussion
Dissemination and 2016 Workshop
12h00 Lunch

Short summary and outcomes

The first workshop day was dedicated to formal presentations of the ongoing work from the different teams. Links to all presentations can be found at the end of this page in its PDF original format.

These presentations were also broadcasted in video live feed and simultaneously recorded for future memory. Bellow, it is also possible to find the links for each of the presentation videos.

This first day of work concluded with an invited speaker talk by Prof Luis Almeida, from the University of Porto, under the title “Communications for teams of cooperating robots”. This talk addressed some of the main issues that need to be solved to support cooperation among robots, such as synchronization, membership, and information sharing with a particular illustration within the RoboCup Middle-Size League. To tackle these issues, Professor Luis Almeida presented a networking and middleware infrastructure that uses dynamically re-configurable and adaptive techniques to cope efficiently with the uncertainties of the topology, membership, and interference, reducing their negative impact on the collaborative applications performance.

Some snapshots of the three day MSL Workshop

The second day was fully dedicated to a hands-on session, based on the newly develop MSL Referee Box. The new RefBox project, used and pre-tested during the Workshop has been released and can be found at this site. The aim of this hands on day was twofold:

  • test and verify the functionalities of the RefBox, allowing all represented teams to connect and interact with this new tool;
  • develop a JSON based protocol to feed the RefBox with data pertaining to each team’s world-state information at a rate of at least 10 times per second. This information is then time tagged and stored during the game, together with the game status provided by the RefBox, and then publicly released, after the game, to all teams. This is expected to provide a powerful mean of offline evaluation and debug to the teams, providing also a rich database for statistical analysis and benchmarking within the league.

During the game, the same team’s world-state information is used, in real time, by an audience viewer client of the RefBox, allowing the public to perceive what is the current understanding of each team regarding the surrounding world (each robot position, heading and velocity, position and velocity of the ball, position of opponents and so forth).

The outcome of this 11 hour non stop session was very positive and, by the end of the day, all teams were able to gather the required information from their base-stations and feed the RefBox with it, being also able to visualize that same data in the mentioned viewer client of the RefBox. Following this session, a decision was made in order to create an MSL GitHub project were the new RefBox and all its functionalities can be accessed by any team for future contributions and further development.

The last day of the workshop was dedicated to an open discussion on three main issues:

  • Possible contributions and discussion of next years new rules and regulations changes together with the evaluation and discussion of the current MSL roadmap;
  • Decisions towards dissemination of the outcomes of this workshop (a first attempt to gather team’s world-state in a regular basis has been scheduled for the 2016’s Dutch Open); it has also been decided to create a new GitHub Organization, called “RoboCup-MSL”, at the following link. This Organization will now start by hosting the new RefBox project. Based on the results gathered during the 2016’s Dutch Open, a paper on Benchmarking in the MSL league will be submitted to a reference journal.
  • A detailed discussion about next year’s workshop. In this context, the possibility of trying to have a workshop in Iran, looking towards the prospect of making it easier for teams from Japan and China to join the workshop, was also discussed and an attempt to do that in 2017 will latter be conducted. Next year’s workshop is now decided to be held in Kassel, Germany.

Links to Workshop related materials

Presentation Session

All participating teams presented new research projects they are working on, while startup teams presented their choices for a software architecture, robot-design and team-organization. The final presentation of the day was a talk by Prof. Luis Almeida on standardization for robot-robot communication. Slides and videos are available bellow:

Hands On Session

  • The Hands On Session time-lapse video, including audience display based on teams world model real time date can be seen here

Important documents

  • Definitions and description of the JSON structure formats, with World Model data, that teams base stations should send to the RefBox during the games can be found here.


The V International RoboCup MSL International Workshop was partially funded by the RoboCup Federation through its “Call for proposals: RCF Support for Projects for League Developments 2016”

The organizers will also like to acknowledge the co-funding and support of the University of Aveiro, Department of Electronics, Telecommunications and Informatics (DETI), Institute of Electronics and Informatics Engineering of Aveiro (IEETA) and the students Nucleus of Electronic and Telecommunications (NEET).

Organizing Committee

Ricardo Dias, Filipe Amaral, José Luís Azevedo and Bernardo Cunha (IRIS Lab – Intelligent Robotics and Intelligent Systems Lab – IEETA/University of Aveiro)