RMRC 2021 Update and Information Request.

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Raymond Sheh

Apr 9, 2021, 1:39:32 AM4/9/21
to The Open Academic Robot Kit, raymon...@georgetown.edu
Hi All!

We're rapidly heading towards RoboCup time! As a reminder, RoboCup
Worldwide is scheduled to run from the 22nd to the 28th of June, 2021.
To give teams maximum flexibility given the distributed nature of the
competition, our plan is to conduct most of the competition prior to the
RoboCup week. The RoboCup week itself will be used to get together
virtually, maybe sort out finals if we have enough teams, and share what
we have learned!

We have been monitoring the pandemic and believe we're at the stage
where plans are solid enough to give you an update. We also need your
inputs to help us to further plan this competition (more information at
the end of this message).

Remote Competition Guideline: We are in the final stages of putting
together the guidelines for how to run the remote competition. The
current idea is to have teams score and video record runs themselves
using a prescribed script and upload the videos to Youtube, Vimeo, (or
similar) for other teams to  verify and attest to the scores. We are
working on the draft script and submission form.

Video Requirements: With the current plan, we let teams submit their
best run of each lane that they wish to compete in. The video must
encapsulate 30 repetitions (up to a time limit cutoff of, say, 15
minutes, to keep things manageable). Since the standard test method
considers 30 repetitions of a task to represent enough statistical
significance, the proposed requirements ensure statistical significance
and fairness between teams.

Video Submission Schedule: Teams are strongly suggested to upload at
least some videos of their performances by late May for feedback on
their processes. We will have a cutoff date (either the second or third
week of June -- T.B.D.) for video submissions. We need the videos to be
uploaded early so that teams can review each other’s submissions. But at
the same time, this distributed submission period allows teams to
continue submitting to accommodate any possible issues that they might
face and provide time to upload improved performances.

Finals: Assuming we have enough teams, the current idea for the finals
is to ask teams to demonstrate a "test method combo" live. This is a
series of test, performed one after the other, streamed live to
spectators and judges. Just as the final arena design is normally a
product of the teams that make it to the finals, the finalist teams'
capabilities and input will be used to determine how the finals will run
this year.

Team Description Material (TDM) Requirement: A distributed competition
means that there are no resource constraints limiting how many teams we
can accept. As all teams qualify to participate, there is no
Qualification TDM. However, we still require what we used to call the
Updated TDM to be submitted two weeks prior to the competition and used
for score scaling. We would like to remind you that this doesn't have to
be a document. It can be a series of blog posts or even a video tour of
your robot and a tutorial on some novel aspects of it. TDMs will be
assessed based on the quality of information that helps other teams to
improve their robot/robot’s performance, including some innovations that
teach other teams or can be used as a multiplier. The latest (2019)
Updated TDMs are all available at
http://oarkit.intelligentrobots.org/home/competitions/2019-utdm/ .

We Need Your Input!
To help us decide on the timetable and which lanes to be used for the
competition, we need your input! Your input will also help us identify
the level of interest for the 2021 competition. Could *one* person from
every team still interested in participating please answer the survey at
https://forms.gle/V7nHqrfVj62VbPSq9 by the 23rd of April (in 2 weeks)?


- Raymond and the RMRC Organising Committee.

Dr. Raymond Sheh

Research Professor
Institute for Soft Matter Synthesis and Metrology
Georgetown University
506 Reiss Science Building
37th and O Streets NW, Washington DC 20057, USA

Guest Researcher
Intelligent Systems Division
National Institute of Standards and Technology
U.S. Department of Commerce
100 Bureau Drive, Stop 8230, Gaithersburg MD 20899-8230, USA

Senior Lecturer (Adjunct)
Department of Computing
Curtin University of Technology
Street: Building 314, Kent Street, Bentley WA 6102, AUSTRALIA
Mail: GPO Box U1987, Perth WA 6845, AUSTRALIA

Raymond Sheh

May 3, 2021, 12:55:53 AM5/3/21
to raymon...@georgetown.edu, The Open Academic Robot Kit, raymo...@gmail.com
Hi All!

We hope that you have all been continuing to stay safe in these
challenging times.

As of now, we do not have enough teams who have replied to the survey we
sent early last month to run a competition this year. Given the fact
that the pandemic is still active around the world, many areas have not
been able to safely re-open schools and activity venues, and those that
are open are limiting activities, it is quite understandable that
preparing for RMRC has been a low priority compared to all the other
challenges that people are dealing with.

We are in the process of preparing some alternative RMRC activities for
the RoboCup week, so that even if we haven't been able to work on our
robots, we might still gather (virtually), share our knowledge and
experience, and keep some momentum going for when we are able to resume

In the meantime, though, if you're still able to participate virtually
under the model described below, and did not reply to the survey, please
do so by May 7 (this Friday). Alternatively, you can reply to this list,
or to in...@oarkit.org, to let us know you're still interested.


- Raymond
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