In 1996, the Federation of International Robot Soccer Association (FIRA) organized the first robot soccer and other sports competition.
The main goal of FIRA is to promote cutting edge research into robotics, machine learning, computer vision, and artificial intelligence by using robot sports as benchmark problems. A second goal is to introduce students to state of the art technologies and methodologies in the areas mentioned above and to prepare them for their future careers. Many interesting research has come out of the FIRA community including the first ice skating and skiing intelligent humanoid robots. But just as robot hardware and software has changed dramatically in recent years, robot competitions must evolve to continue to act as important benchmark problem. 2017 provides a new start for FIRA with new challenges, new participants, and a new president.
The new FIRA organization is broken up into four divisions:
FIRA Sports - autonomous robots competing in sport and similar events,
FIRA Youth - a new division for junior and high school students,
FIRA Challenge - more complex events such as search and rescue that can often only be solved with tele-operation,
FIRA Air - a new competition for autonomous drones.
The first world cup competition using this new structure will be organized by Prof. Kuo-Yang Tu (firstname.lastname@example.org) and will be held from 23rd to 27th of August 2017 at the National Kaohsiung First University of Science and Technology (NKFUST) in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. We hope that you can join us at NKFUST for exciting robot competitions with teams from all over the world. We believe that the FIRA World Cup is a wonderful event to make new friends and learn from each other.