The RoboCup Rescue competitions provide benchmarks for evaluating robot platforms' usability in disaster mitigation. Research groups should demonstrate their ability to deploy a team of robots that explore a devastated area and locate victims. RoboCup is moving towards longterm goals of sophisticated resource allocation in disaster situations, both at a large scale (the Agents competition) and at a small scale (the Virtual Robots competition). Each year the benchmarks are made more challenging to accommodate and encourage progress by all teams. The Infrastructure competition showcases innovations that have enabled extensions of these benchmarks.
The Infrastructure competition was started in 2004 with the aim of promoting the development of new tools to improve rescue simulation. The simulation of various disaster situations turns out to be complicated and dicult to val- idate. Therefore, the infrastructure competition was launched to promote the maintenance and development of simulation environments. The infrastructure competition has started in 2004 with the purpose of promot- ing the development of new simulators and tools to continuously improving the rescue simulator. The simulation of various disaster situations turns out to be complicated and difficult to validate. Therefore, the infrastructure competition has been launched for supporting the maintenance and development of the simulation environments. For example, the fire simulator and 3D viewer were both developed by the winner of the infrastructure competition in 2004.
The Aladdin project4, funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, has strongly stimulated the conversion towards version 1 of the simulator. The original version of the simulator was chosen as the testbed for ALADDIN technologies and was further improved and extended as part of the project. The end-result is a well-engineered simulator with realistic trac simulation (developed in collaboration with Meijo University) and GIS map conversion (in collaboration with Freiburg University) that allows disasters to be simulated in selected parts of any given map (OpenStreetMap or GIS formats).
Another simulator component proposed in the infrastructure competition, is the flood simulator, but it was not finilized by the proposed team.
Recently, also an extension towards flying robots has been proposed, both in the Virtual Robot and Agent competition.
In 2010 the simulator of the Virtual Robot competition was extended with a realistic response of laser scanners to smoke; a circumstance which is quite common in disaster situations. The response of the laser scanners was validated in a number of experiments in a training center of the Dutch fire brigade.
The Infrastructure competition involves the presentation of already existent tools and simulators of disaster management problems in general. The intent is the evaluation of possible enhancements and expansions of the basic RoboCup Rescue Agent simulator based on the new ideas and concepts proposed in these tools and simulators. The evaluation will be done in a panel and a winner chosen accordingly to a set of factors related to the technical aspects of the tool or simulator and the presentation. The best tool will be selected for further integration with the simulation platform.
The score of each team participating in the Infrastructure Competition is given by the sum of the punctuation given by each other team to a set of evaluative factors related to the innovative aspect of the proposal and the presentation’s quality and clarity. The team with the highest sum of scores is the winner of the competition. Each member of Technical Committee who is not a member of a team may participate in the scoring. Each team should participate and evaluate the infrastructure presentation.
Teams participating in the Infrastructure competition must release their source code as an open-source project before the competition. Even though a team is accepted to participate in the competition, if it does not release the source code, a complete manual, prepare an easy installation and running script files (for example, install.sh and run.sh) before the beginning of the RoboCup event, will be disqualified. Thus, it will not be evaluated and considered for winning the prize.