October 12, 2015 Márton Krauter

RoboCup 2016 is coming to Leipzig

Leipzig will host the 20th RoboCup. Ellie, a robot from Aldebaran, discovers Leipzig's downtown area - this image shows the Federal Administrative Court. 
Image: Leipziger Messe GmbH

For the first time in ten years, the world championship of robots will be taking place in Germany again.

In the summer of 2016, Leipziger Messe will host the 20th RoboCup, the world championship of robots. The leading international robotics event takes place in a different country each year. It was last held in Germany in 2006, parallel to the soccer world championship, and delighted thousands of visitors in Bremen. “RoboCup is a fascinating event − participants demonstrate top scientific and technical achievements in an entertaining way,” says Markus Geisenberger, Managing Director of Leipziger Messe. “This event is just as interesting for experts as it is for the media and the audience. We are so pleased that our joint proposal with the German RoboCup National Committee, WorldSkills Germany, the Free State of Saxony, and the city of Leipzig has been a success. We would also like to thank the Federal Ministry of Education and Science, as well as our many supporters from business, science and media.”

Up to 3,000 participants from over 40 countries have their autonomous robots compete against each other and solve complex problems at the RoboCup World Championship. In addition to soccer-playing robots, visitors will also meet robots that independently search for survivors in disaster regions or that perform various tasks in an apartment in interaction with humans. At RoboCupJunior, the RoboCup for students up to the age of 20, robots not only play soccer but, among other things, dance to music or come to grips with an obstacle course. Parallel to the competitions, extending over several days, a conference on the latest scientific developments in artificial intelligence and robotics will be held.

With the RoboCup German Open, one of the world’s leading regional RoboCup competitions has been taking place in Magdeburg since 2011. And at the world championships, German participants have represented the largest group for years. That’s why organizing the 2016 World Cup in Germany is a special highlight.

“We want to make this RoboCup an event that participants and visitors, as well as Leipzig’s residents, will remember for a long time,”

says Gerhard Kraetzschmar, Vice President of the RoboCup Federation and General Chair of RoboCup 2016. “Together with Leipziger Messe and WorldSkills Germany, we have presented a solid, professional concept and are convinced that Leipzig is the ideal place for our world championship.”

Federal government, Free State of Saxony and the city of Leipzig support the RoboCup World Championship 2016

The Federal Minister for Education and Science, Prof. Dr. Johanna Wanka, and Saxony’s Minister of State for Economic Affairs, Labor and Transport, Sven Morlok, will take on the patronage for the RoboCup World Championship 2016. “Saxony is a technology state and an extremely important location for microelectronics. This renders the Free State and the city of Leipzig a good and suitable host for the RoboCup World Championship 2016,” says Minister of State, Morlok. “Saxony is home to innovators who create new products through constantly new ideas. Particularly the excellent networking between science, research and technology companies in the Free State creates the right conditions for high-tech developments “made in Saxony.” Robots that can play soccer are a major scientific achievement and the result of perfect coordination among several disciplines. I am looking forward to the RoboCup World Championship 2016 and am pleased to be a patron.”

The bid was also supported by the city. “Leipzig enjoys an excellent reputation as a location for science,” says Mayor Burkhard Jung. “People have always come here to present innovations, and to exchange information and know-how. The RoboCup World Championship unites science, technology and sports, and audiences can observe spectacular performances. And it doesn’t matter if the robots score seven goals or just one.”

The 20th RoboCup World Championship with accompanying conference will take place from 30 June to 4July 2016, at Leipziger Messe.

This article is a copy of the official press release of RoboCup2016.org.