Australia faces robot invasion in 2019

27 November 2015

Robocup, the world’s biggest annual robotics event, is coming to International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney) in June 2019. Hundreds of robots are due to descend on Australia to battle it out for one of the coveted RoboCup world trophies, following a successful bid by Business Events Sydney (BESydney), UNSW Australia, RoboCup Junior Australia (a high school competition circuit) and Bastion Collective for ICC Sydney.

ICC Sydney will open its doors to 2,000 researchers and innovators from 50 nations for The RoboCup International Symposium and World Championship, one of the world’s leading technology events, injecting up to $7 million into the Australian economy. ICC Sydney’s contemporary design and leading technology are set to play a role in significantly boosting the profile of robotics.

RoboCup and its events, which include search-and-rescue, caregiving assistance and other real-world scenarios, are aligned with ICC Sydney’s and the city’s focus on technology innovation.  “RoboCup brings the best in robotics to our shores to debate, discover and drive our future. Over six days, up to 600 teams will compete in front of 20,000 spectators,” said Ms Lyn Lewis-Smith, CEO of BESydney.

NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer, Professor Mary O'Kane said RoboCup would profile NSW’s international leadership in robotics. "NSW is a leader in robotics research globally, particularly in large-scale field robotics and autonomous systems.  The State also has considerable strength in artificial intelligence (AI).”

UNSW Presdient and Vice-Chancellor, Ian Jacobs, is delighted Sydney’s ICC Sydney will play host to RoboCup in four years. “In July 2015, the UNSW team became the Standard Platform League Robocup World Champions, defeating Germany to win back-to-back world titles. We look forward to competing again in 2019 on home soil, showcasing the outstanding capabilities of UNSW’s computer science and engineering students.”

Background on the RoboCup World Championship

The event draws spectators from many top technology companies such as Google, Microsoft and Dell. RoboCup Soccer, has five leagues, of which the most hotly contested is the Standard Platform League, where teams use identical robots but rely on their own software to win. Teams concentrate on the development of AI software that drives the robots, rather than the mechanics of the robots themselves. In this league, UNSW has won a record five world titles, including the last two back-to-back. In all leagues, robots operate fully autonomously, with no remote control by either humans or computers during games.

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