OnStage Challenge


Robocup Junior OnStage is an integration of Science, Technology and the Arts (STEAM).

OnStage challenges teams of students to design, build, and program robots to perform. This performance can be in the form of a dance in time with the beat of the music, or a theatrical presentation. Teams are scored on their performance and their technical interview (including the technical description paper).

Competitors are encouraged to be creative as their imaginations will allow them with the main emphasis being on a team effort to design, build, program, create, and perform. Many beginner students choose to use LEGO Mindstorms kits to build and program their robots due to their ease of use. A whole variety of motors and sensors can be attached to enhance the performance.

Your task:
To create a 1-2 minute performance showcasing costumed or themed robots to a piece of music

  • The stage is a 2x2m marked square with a 50mm black tape boundary
  • Marks will be deducted when a robot completely leave the performance area
  • Performance must be longer than 1 minute and less than 2 minutes with a maximum of 6 minutes on stage
  • Robots can be build and programmed using any platform
  • Non-kit designs with costumes are rewarded
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There are two divisions of the OnStage challenge based on how many years of experience the team members have.


Novice OnStage

The novice division is the entry-level division for RoboCup OnStage. All members of the team must have 2 years or less experience in OnStage competitions. Robots must perform autonomously on a 2 x 2 metre stage.


The open division is the highest-level division for RoboCup OnStage. Any team may enter the open division. Any team that is not eligible for the Novice division must enter the Open division.

The Open Division is recommended to teams who are developing advanced robotic solutions and teams with less than two years’ experience may wish to join to have the opportunity to explain their technical solutions.

What makes a good performance

The definition of a robot is “A goal orientated machine that can sense, plan and act.” (Corke 2017) and in OnStage, the best performances have robots not reliant on their movements but how they move through a space while incorporating a theme. Teams can do this by using sensors to detect and sense their environment – interacting with humans, props or other robots.

Just like with any story, an audience should come away understanding the theme and the message that a team wishes to portray. This could be to educate on an important issue, recreate a scene from a book or movie or just simply to entertain. Original and creative stories are often the most memorable.

Be sure to read through the rules and scoresheets to see how you can improve your score.

Getting Started with OnStage

Check out our Getting Started section for tutorials and more information about how to start preparing your OnStage performance!

  • Beginners Guide – for students and mentors who are completely new to RoboCup
  • OnStage Resources – for OnStage-specific tutorials, videos, inspiration, and other useful resources

Modern Teaching Aids supplies many of the kits and parts you may need to start your designs.

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