Competition Format and Rules:


Due to Covid-19, the competition will be online. Contestants will live-stream their performance on a specified time slot before the competition days and then selected recorded streaming videos will be shown on the competition days. The selected teams will also be invited to give a technical presentation on their technology. The competition has two tracks: service robot track and manufacturing track. Teams can participate in one or both tracks. In both tracks, a complete robotic system should be used. All tasks should be performed autonomously without any human input. Teleoperation is NOT allowed.
Teams are also invited to submit a technical paper to the RA-L Special Issue on Robotic Grasping and Manipulation Challenges and Progress.

Service Robot Track:
The service robot track has one task -- set a formal dinner table. The setups, and competition rules are provided with detail >>HERE<<.

Manufacturing Track:
There will be two manufacturing sub-tasks in the competition, wire harness construction and assembly of a motor-driven belt-drive mechanism in the form of a NIST Task Board (NTB). The motor drive assembly steps also include the connection of the wire harness to apply power to the system. A pre-competition design will be made available for selected teams to continue development of their systems leading up to the competition. A challenge with modified wiring and assembly positions (very similar to the pre-competition NTB), and new parts (identical to all parts used in practice), will be supplied prior to a team's scheduled on-line competition run. All details can be found HERE  

Tentative PRIZES

  Winners will receive a certificate in PDF.  

Competition Registration

Teams from academia and industry are equally welcome to participate. One person can only participate in one team. Each team cannot have more than 5 members (including the team leader). Each team will need to provide the following information to register:
  • Service Robot Track -- A one-page description about your team. It should include the names of team members, their affiliations and contacts, who the team leader is, which track to participate, a brief description of the team's technology, robotic systems, and sensor systems.
  • Manufacturing Track -- One to two-page description of the robotic assembly system that you will use to compete. Include descriptions of your autonomous assembly strategies and robotic assembly system; robot manipulators, end effector technology, sensors used for perception, control software and any plans for incorporating the use of supplied CAD data. Solutions that rely primarily on teaching (also called lead through programming) are not recommended. Images and Videos that help describe your system and operating principles are encouraged, but not required. Also include shipping information for sending NTBs in the case that your team is selected as follows:
    Postal Code:
    City or Town:
    E-mail Address:

    * It's very important that a person's name is included in the Attention field.
    Note: The organizers cannot guarantee the shipping times of the NTBs. Therefore, we have also included all sources and instructions for producing the practice boards on the manufacturing track web site.

    Each team must email the required registration information in PDF to yusun AT prior to the deadline.
  • * If you don't have a robotic system, you are encourage to attend the Open Cloud Robot Table Organization Challenge (


    Registration deadline:   July 31, 2021
    Acceptance Announcement:   August 15, 2021
    Competition Setup Approval:   September 1, 2021
    Competition Live Stream Timeslot Signup:   September 3, 2021
    Competition Live Stream and Recording:   September 13-September 24, 2021

    Schedule (tentative)

    • Competition uncut videos
    • Team technical presentations
    • Discussions

    Organizing Committee

    Yu Sun (primary contact person)

    University of South Florida

    Calli, Berk

    Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI)

    Joseph Falco

    National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

    Maximo Roa

    German Aerospace Center (DLR)

    Cindy Grimm

    Oregon State University

    Kenneth Kimble


    Adam Norton

    UMass Lowell NERVE Cente
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