IROS 2021
IROS-RSJ Robotic Challenge for Young Students
The Challenge

The Challenge

The main objective of the Challenge is to create interest and incentive in the robotic careers of young students, defined as university students of first courses, and last courses of elementary and high schools. The Challenge will be in simulation only, and will use easy to implement and friendly tools. It will have two stages: the first is a Selection stage focused on navigation in in-door environments, and the second Finals is for manipulation.

The first stage will be performed by the students’ teams during the months previous to IROS’2021. Based on the scoring, up to 8 teams will be selected for the Finals (second stage) that will be held during IROS on September 29th and 30th 2021 in remote modality.

The Challenge will include small financial supports to the students’ teams, coordinators of teams, and organizers. The final award, that will consist of a diploma and a monetary prize, will be assigned based on the scoring of the second stage only.

Program of activities

Registration: Until [June 21st] deadline extended until July 5th 2021 (via Registration Form (below); also see Rules section)

Selection stage: [June 21st] deadline extended until July 5th 2021 – September 1st 2021. Notification of Final teams – September 13th 2021.

Final stage: September 27th-30th 2021. Time is in CET zone. The competition will be performed remotely and will be transmitted on-line within IROS’2021.

September 27th

Time Activity Comments
14:00 – 15:30 Tutorial Organizers will explain the Final stage and tools to be used.

September 28th

14:00 – 15:30 Questions and Answers Organizers will answer the teams’ questions.

September 29th

9:00 – 24:00 Opening for running algorithms Team will run their algorithms with official scoring.

September 30th

9:00 Challenge Ending The scoring will be closed.
14:00 Official results Official results will be announced.


All teams with accepted applications (up to 20) will receive a diploma and 300€ support for participating if they complete the Selection stage and run the robot.

The winner teams of the Selection stage (up to 8, that pass on to the Final) will receive a diploma and 600€ support for participating if they complete the Final stage and run the robot.

The winner team of the Final will obtain a diploma and grant of 5.000€, while the second best will obtain a diploma and a grant of 2.000€.

All the monetary grants and awards will be made by bank transfer to the teams´ organization with corresponding applicable taxes and bank commissions.


Rules and Scoring

The Challenge will use Webots for robot simulation ( It is easy to install on any computer, and many different programming languages can be used (templates for C++, Python and MATLAB will be provided). The robot used will be PAL Robotics TiaGo++ (

Each team may be composed by up to 6 students (as defined), and up to 2 advisors (typically a professor). To participate, send your team data (one application per team) before the application deadline ([June 21st] deadline extended until July 5th 2021) via the Registration form (above). Once your application has been accepted, you will receive the link for the simulation tool, tutorial, and rule book.

The Selection stage is oriented at robot navigation tasks, where focus is on autonomously moving the robot base. In the standard in-door environment, the random navigation task will be generated for each team. The automatic scoring will be based on: i) success of the task, ii) relative time of navigation, and iii) length of generated code. The deadline for this stage is September 1st 2021.

The selected teams for the Final stage will be announced on September 13th 2021. It will involve robot vision and manipulation tasks and takes place during the days of the IROS2021 conference. Each participating team is provided the Rule Book with the competition benchmarks. The winners will be announced on September 30th 2021.


  • Carlos Balaguer, RoboticsLab, University Carlos III of Madrid (UC3M), Spain
  • Minoru Asada, Robotic Society of Japan, Japan
  • Juan G Victores, RoboticsLab, University Carlos III of Madrid (UC3M), Spain
  • Daniel López, PAL Robotics, Spain
  • Olivier Michel, Cyberbotics, Switzerland
In addition to the the Registration form (above), you may also contact the organization via email, for specific enquiries:

Spanish University of international recognition. The largest selection of bilingual studies. Campus of International Excellence for its teaching and research.

The Robotics Laboratory (RoboticsLab) of UC3M is one of the pioneers of Robotics and Automation, both nationally and internationally. Since the early 1980s, the members of the research group have been continuously tackling research and development projects in collaboration with national and European companies and institutions. These actions have been characterized by a high scientific-technological level and show an important international projection of the group.

The Robotics Society of Japan was founded in 1983 with the aim to facilitate and spread the development of research and knowledge of robotics and to promote the growth of academics. We undertake the following in order to fulfill these purposes: Holding of academic meetings, seminars, visiting tours, etc. Publication of academic journals, international journals in European languages, and other periodicals. Research and investigation. Encouragement of research and recognition of research performance. Communication and cooperation with related domestic and foreign academic organizations. Other matters necessary for the achievement of our purposes.

PAL Robotics' mission is to enhance people’s quality of life through service robotics and automation technologies. We design and manufacture highly integrated and reliable solutions for service industries and research institutions worldwide. PAL Robotics is one of the founding members of the EU Robotics association and is involved in numerous collaborative projects.

PAL Robotics' robots including TIAGo are Open Source based on Ubuntu and ROS systems, find out more here:

Webots is an open source and multi-platform desktop application used to simulate robots. It provides a complete development environment to model, program and simulate robots.

It has been designed for a professional use, and it is widely used in industry, education and research. Cyberbotics Ltd. maintains Webots as its main product continuously since 1998.