Soccer Challenge

Soccer

Students are required to design, build, and program two robots to compete in a dynamic game of robot soccer against an opposing pair of robots.

Soccer robots must be fully autonomous, so they need to employ a variety of sensors to find the ball, point in the right direction, and stay inside the playing area. These robots use a ball that either emits infrared light, or is bright orange in colour, depending on the division. Students will need to come up with creative gameplay strategies to outsmart the opposition. Each game can be unpredictable and a lot of fun – you never know what might happen!

Due to its ease of introduction to the uninitiated, many students choose to use LEGO Mindstorms kits to build and program their robots. Other students select alternative platforms and even build their own microprocessor robots from basic electronic components. A range of sensors can be attached to all of these platforms, including electronic compasses, sonars, light sensors, infrared sensors, and cameras. 

Platinum National Sponsor

Divisions

There are three divisions of the soccer challenge, each with slightly different rules and levels of difficulty.

Standard
Lightweight
Open
Simple Simon
Simulation

Standard Soccer

The standard division is the entry-level division for RoboCup soccer. Robots must be made from LEGO parts only (except for certain sensors). This allows for simple construction and programming. Robots must use infrared sensors to follow a special ball which emits infrared light. Each robot must be a maximum of 1kg and fit within a 22cm cylinder size limit.

Lightweight Soccer

The lightweight division is the mid-level division for RoboCup soccer. Robots can be made from anything – you can use LEGO, custom build your robot, or have a hybrid of both. Robots must use infrared sensors to follow a special ball which emits infrared light. Each robot must be a maximum of 1.1kg and fit within a 22cm cylinder size limit.

Open Division

The open division is the highest-level division for RoboCup soccer. Open soccer is played with a bright orange-coloured ball, so robots use cameras and computer vision software to detect and follow the ball.

Robots can be made from anything – you can use LEGO, custom build your robot, or have a hybrid of both. Some cameras are even compatible with LEGO EV3s.

Each robot must be a maximum of 2.5kg and fit within a 22cm cylinder size limit.

Simple Simon Soccer is a beginner divison that some states and territories run at select events. Teams are limited to only using standard lego parts and the IR Seeker ball sensor, creating a low barrier to entry and fun learning environment. 

Soccer Simulation

Soccer Simulation is a competition that brings RoboCup soccer into an online simulation platform. Hone your strategy and soccer skills by programming on-screen robots to detect and follow the ball.

In Blocks/JS (https://tools.robocupjunior.org.au/soccersim/), use Scratch-like programming or JavaScript to run your robots straight from the browser.

In ev3sim (https://ev3sim.mhsrobotics.club/), port your EV3 Mindstorms Education or ev3dev code and compete in a simulated Python environment.

The Soccer Field

RoboCup soccer is played on a 2.4 x 1.8 metre green carpet field with white boundary lines and two coloured goals.

The materials needed to make a field are low-cost and easily found at your local hardware store. For storage, you can roll up the carpet when you’re finished for the day. Be sure to check out our field construction guide if you want some ideas on how to construct your own field.

Please note the Simple Simon Soccer field differs from this field, please see the Simple Simon Soccer rules below for further information.

Rules

Make sure you read the latest rules for this challenge. These rules can change from year-to-year.

Getting Started with Soccer

Check out our Getting Started section for tutorials and more information about how to start making your soccer robots!

  • Beginners Guide – for students and mentors who are completely new to RoboCup
  • Soccer Resources – for soccer-specific tutorials, programming guides, suggested parts, inspiration, and other useful resources

Modern Teaching Aids supplies many of the kits and parts you may need to construct a LEGO soccer robot.

Our Sponsors

Platinum National Sponsor
Global Sponsor

University Affiliations

Subscribe

Subscribe to make sure you have the latest news and event updates.