Message from New President
I would like to take this opportunity to announce that I was elected by the FIRA executive committee on 16th Dec. 2016 as new FIRA President.
The FIRA community has always impressed me with its many highly dedicated individuals that used robot competitions to bring out the best in themselves, aware of the seriousness of their research, willing to share with and learn from each other, and acted fairly and sportsman-like.
I believe that this is the legacy of Prof Jong-Hwan Kim's, who founded and guided FIRA from its beginning, and his leadership, which nurtured this fine community spirit in FIRA. We owe him great thanks, and I feel honored and humbled to follow in his footsteps.
It is also important to recognize the hard work that Ms. Christine Kim, Executive Secretary of FIRA headquarter, and her team have done organizing the FIRA competition every year. I am very happy to be able to report that Ms. Christine Kim agreed to help us with the new FIRA organization.
I promise that I will do my best to keep this great FIRA community alive. I am sure that together we can overcome all future challenges.
After quite a bit of discussion during and after FIRA, a couple of things have been already decided by the interim executive committee. These decisions are currently being implemented.
### Firstly, since I won't be able to focus on HuroCup alone anymore, the HuroCup OC had to be changed.
# Prof. Kuo-Yang Tu, who has acted as my co-chair for many years, has kindly agreed to take over as Vice-President HuroCup.
# Prof. Karla Camarillo has kindly agreed to help HuroCup next year as co-chair.
# There also some changes in AndroSot that still need to be confirmed.
### Secondly, the FIRA competition will be restructured into four categories:
## FIRA Sport
focuses on various sports and games for fully autonomous robots. The robots may be Humanoid, legged, or wheeled.
This will include the old HuroCup and AndroSot competitions.
Qualification procedure will start end of February using the HuroCup qualification as a template)
## FIRA Youth
includes categories for 8-13 and 14-18-year-old students. There will be new and variations of existing events for humanoids (the old HuroCup Junior competition), legged and wheeled robots. It will also include the mini-drc competition. It also includes four new events: Robot Business Plan (make economic case for robot technology), Mission impossible (3 hrs to build a robot to solve some unknown problem), United Nations Cup (teams are mixed from different countries), and Family Feud (team consists of family and at least two generations).
## FIRA Challenge
These include problems that are of great importance to society: such as search and rescue, disaster relief, and land de-mining. Robots may be tele-operated.
## FIRA Air
A new drone competition for aerial robots including manipulation. One proposal is to play quidditch.
These are the current plans, so they may still change in the future.
We will send out new rules for the events as soon as possible.
## FIRA 2017 will be held in Taiwan in late August or September. We hope to host it in Taipei, but a backup plan with the competition in Kaohsiung is also being worked on.
## FIRA 2018 will be in Gemering (near Munich), Germany from 4th - 8th July 2018.
We are also starting a new project create a new website, as well as some other, needed IT infrastructure to help us run FIRA events.
Currently, we are setting up a new server in Taiwan and Soroush Sadeghnejad is working on a prototype implementation of the new website.
In the meantime, I will use this Facebook group as our main communication channel.
I hope you have a chance to enjoy some peaceful time with your loved ones during the holidays.
Looking forward to working together with you in the future and meeting everyone in Taiwan in 2017.