Register to participate in the 1st ERL Smart City Robotic Challenge

The city of Milton Keynes, UK, will host the first European Robotics League - Smart CIty RObotic Challenge (SciRoc Challenge) from the 16th to the 22nd of September 2019 at the Centre:MK (

Milton Keynes Council is proud to be supporting this first European Robotics League competition: “Milton Keynes is a leading UK smart city with a strong culture of innovation and we are excited to understand more about the role that robots and artificial intelligence can play in our future community and economy”.       

The innovative SciRoc challenge aims to show how robots will integrate in the cities of the future. Consumer, Professional and Emergency service robots will interact with the public and the simulated smart infrastructure of a shopping mall.

We invite international teams from universities, research labs and robotics companies to demonstrate their technologies and systems in a realistic smart city environment.

The Episodes

The ERL Smart Cities Robotics challenge is divided into several episodes. An episode places a functionality tested during a specific Functional Benchmarks (FBM) into an operational context. Episodes are individual and teams can chose to participate in one or more of them depending of their area of expertise and interest.


In this episode the robot will assist people in a coffee shop to take care of customers by taking orders and bringing objects to and from customers’ tables.

The main functionality evaluated in this episode is people perception. Additional side functionalities are navigation, speech synthesis and recognition.




The robot must take the elevator crowded with customers to reach a service located in another floor.

The robot should interact with the MK:DataHub to discover which floor it must reach to accomplish its task. The robot must be able to take the elevator together with regular customers of the shopping mall.



The robot is in one the booths of the mall. On the shelf of the booth are the goodies displayed for sale to the customers.

The customers can place orders through a tablet. The robot must move behind the display and collect the requested packages for the customer place them in a box and place the box on a tray where the customer can pick it.



Doors are ubiquitous in human environments. There are many types of doors, some of which are easier to operate than others for a robot.

In this episode the robot will identify a door, approach it and open it completely within a specified tolerance from 90°.



The aerial robot must attend an emergency situation in which a first-aid kit needs to be delivered to a customer.

The robot must be able to fly autonomously to the customer location as fast as possible. The robot might need to detect and avoid possible obstacles on the way, and it must take into account that GPS coverage is not always guaranteed.


The rulebook drafts offer detailed information on the Episodes and are available for teams to comment,


Applicant teams can register until the 31st of May 2019 at 23:59 CET.

Travel support

Teams that attend and compete will be able to claim up to 1000 pounds in travel and subsistence expenses after the event.  Teams that qualify for support in this way will be supported on a 'first come, first served' basis according to the date they registered until the budget is exhausted.

Loan a PAL Robotics TIAGo

PAL Robotics, SciRoc Platinum Sponsors, offers the possibility of loaning a TIAGo to make it easier for teams to participate in this new and challenging robotics competition.Teams showing outstanding expertise and innovative developments will have the chance to receive one of the TIAGo Steel and one of the TIAGo Iron robots for free.Find the full TIAGo loan conditions and application procedure here.

For more information on the European Robotics League and the SciRoc challenge, visit and




Press contact

Marta Palau Franco
University of the West of England, Bristol
Bristol Robotics Laboratory
Social media: @erlrobotleague


Notes for editors


The European Robotics League

The European Robotics League (ERL) is the successor to the RoCKIn, euRathlon and EuRoC robotics competitions, funded by the EU and designed to foster scientific progress and innovation in cognitive systems and robotics. The ERL comprises annual competitions for Consumer, Professional and Emergency Service Robots, and a biennial robotics challenge for Smart Cities. See:



The European Robotics League is run by the SciRoc project, funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Programme under grant agreement n° 780086. SciRoc continues to build the ERL; raising interest through public engagement, validating and disseminating new benchmarks, and accelerating development through demonstrating the performance of components and techniques against these benchmarks.  Setting the competitions in a Smart City context drives development towards real societal needs. See:


PAL Robotics

PAL Robotics’ mission is to create service robots that enhance quality of life. We started in 2004 when a small group of engineers built the first fully autonomous humanoid biped robot in Europe. With over 15 years of experience in R&D and service robotics, today we are known for the humanoid robots TALOS, REEM-C and REEM, and innovative solutions for mobile manipulation applications (TIAGo), industrial intralogistics (TIAGo Base) and retail challenges (StockBot). PAL Robotics is Platinum Sponsor of the 1st European Robotics League SciRoc Challenge. See:

Key Dates

Registration deadline: 31 May 2019, 23:59 CET