MSL Discussion for 2021

Dear MSL Teams

We have just been asked by the Trustees to provide feedback about the possibility of having a presential limited edition of RoboCup2021 at Bordeaux. They are requesting a response by November the 30th.

In short, they would like to know if each league is able to organize either a: virtual event; or a hybrid event, with only a small number of local teams and/or organizers (and possibly robots) physically present.

Although desirable, it is no mandatory that every league can participate.

A few goals are pointed out as important, such as:

  • The event should allow the community to come together
  • Research on difficult topics should be addressed
  • They would like to be able to point out champions of each league
  • There should be league meetings that allow for discussions of future rules, elections of new TCs, Execs, and OCs, etc.

With this in mind, we would like to gather feedback and ideas from the MSL community (no later than 27th November). To simplify the process, we kindly request your team to answer the following questions (and add other feedback if you wish):

  • Is your team considering participating during RoboCup 2021?
  • Would a hybrid solution work, where a small part of your team is present during RoboCup 2021 and the other team-members contribute remotely? What is the minimum number of team-members you require to be present for such a solution?
  • In case there is no opportunity for an event in France, would it be possible for your team to organize the Technical & Scientific challenge from your own practice field? Especially for the Technical Challenge, it would be very useful to have a Livestream of the field to show the demonstrations. What alternative challenges do you consider?
  • Are you willing to participate in remote MSL meetings to discuss future rules, MSL roadmap, and also elect new TCs, Execs, and OCs?
  • Does your team have alternative suggestions for an MSL-event during RoboCup 2021?

How to participate in this discussion:

The discussion is going via email and everyone should keep the other emails in the CC list. If your email is not on our list and you want to participate, you can follow the last comments on the shared Google Doc, and ask the Executive Committee members by email to add your email address to the CC list. With the following information:

  • Your name
  • Your team name
  • Your team affiliation and country
  • Your position in the team
  • Your team leader name

Hoping that you can, and make an effort, to contribute for this discussion in order to allow us to provide a MSL community answer to the Trustees,

Please accept our best regards

Ehsan Marjani
Wouter Houtman
Bernardo Cunha
(MSL Execs)

Dear MSL-TC and team leaders,

As you might have seen, the RoboCup Federation indicated that RoboCup2021 will be held in a virtual or remote setting only, at the dates previously communicated. Recently, the trustees contacted us to discuss how this can be organized for the MSL and encouraged us to bring up solutions to keep the league active and visible to the general public. As the MSL is focused on matches with real robots, and the time horizon of 6 months is quite restrictive, we have discussed this approach and concluded that it will be impossible to have full matches in a remote virtual (simulation) setting. As a result, we consider that the most realistic scenario would be one based on a set of challenges. Concretely, this means that:

  • The Scientific & Technical challenges can take place remotely. The previous discussion with all teams indicated that most teams were in favor of this and able to participate.
  • As a replacement for the matches, there are some ideas to create an extra challenge. The current ideas are:
    • To implement the software of one team onto the robots of another team, such that (in the future) it will be possible to play with teams consisting of more than five robots without the need to build up more robots. For this, several things such as safety (restrictions!), the control-interface and the concrete challenge for this year need to be sorted out. Of course, we also understand that the time is quite limited and that there is quite some work which needs to be done. Still, do your team see the advantages of such a challenge?
    • To integrate and test the common simulator, such that more scenarios can be tested in the various simulators.

Could you share with us your thoughts with respect to these challenges by the end of next week, January 15? Based on your input, the Technical Committee can make final decisions and specify, if that’s the case, the (extra) challenge(s).

The discussion is going via email and everyone should keep the other emails in the CC list (reply to all). You can follow the last comments on the shared Google Doc.

Please accept our best regards

Ehsan Marjani
Wouter Houtman
Bernardo Cunha
(MSL Execs)