Call for Papers 2019


Special Issue on Robot Athletes and Entertainers

Published in the Journal Knowledge Engineering Review
Deadline for submission of papers: 11th March 2019


Challenging problems involving sports have been an important part of evaluating performance in robotics and AI for more than twenty years. Robot soccer suggested as a challenging problem for AI by Alan Mackworth in 1992, was one of the first initiatives with the goal of building robot athletes.
Another research area with increasing relevance is human-robot interaction (HRI). In recent years, there have been many attempts to develop robot entertainers or actors. One example is the humanoid application challenge (HAC) which introduced a competition for robot magicians. The HAC was held as part of the IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robot Systems (IROS). Robot magicians provide an interesting domain for HRI, because a good magic performance necessitates close interactions with the audience, not only to make the show entertaining but also to misdirect the attention of the audience.
Sports and entertainment provide important benchmarks for fundamental research in intelligent robotics and an important context for the public to understand research in these areas. This special issue will provide an overview of the state of the art in robot athletes and entertainers. Possible areas include novel representations, data structures, and algorithms that provide practical solutions to the research issues involved in robot sport and entertainment challenges. We also welcome theoretical contributions that broadly address those challenges, as well as results of empirical evaluations comparing different approaches in realistic environments, as well as work on the design and evaluation of robot benchmarks. The creations of open data-sets for the training of robot athletes and entertainers are also encouraged.


The following list includes topics of the interest for this special issue.
  • High speed walking gaits and running robots (Sprinters)
  • Active balancing, posture generators, and push recovery
  • Energy efficient walking gaits for long distance running robots (Marathon runners)
  • High accuracy control of motions and kinematics (Archery)
  • Complex motion planning (Wall climbing)
  • Human-robot interaction
  • High speed object tracking
  • Robot personalities (Marvin, the depressed robot magician)
  • Labeled vision data and ground truth for localization
  • Team play and role assignment (Robot soccer)
  • Attention in perception and reasoning for intelligent sports robots and misdirection of attention for robot magicians
  • Efficient architectures for intelligent sports and entertainment robots
This list is non-exhaustive.

Submission Details

Articles can be submitted until 11th March 2019 via ScholarOne ( Please create an account on ScholarOne first and then start a new submission. Please note that you do not upload your paper during the account registration phase. Instead, you will need to start a new submission from the author dashboard.
Please indicate that your submission is intended for the special issue.
Articles must follow the Knowledge Engineering Review formatting and publishing guidelines.
The submitted papers will be peer reviewed using a single-blind peer review process. The reviewed papers will be selected based on topic, scientific novelty, significance, quality of the empirical or theoretical evaluation, and overall presentation.
Many of the issues of interest to this special issue are closely related to participants in the FIRA, HAC, and RoboCup competitions (, but we also encourage submissions from other researchers. No special treatment is given to FIRA, HAC, or RoboCup participants.

Guest Editors

  • Jacky Baltes ( [email protected] ), National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei, Taiwan
  • Kuo-Yang Tu ( [email protected] ), National Kaohsiung University of Science and Technology (NKUST), Kaohsiung, Taiwan
  • Soroush Sadeghnejad ( [email protected] ), Amirkabir University of Technology (Tehran Polytechnic), Tehran, Iran
  • Rodrigo da Silva Guerra ( [email protected] ), Universite Federal de Santa Maria (UFSM), Santa Maria, Brazil

International Events

Recent News

Welcome to the Federation of International Robot-Sport Association

Robot soccer can be portrayed as a competition of advanced robot technology within a confined space. It offers a challenging arena to the young generation and researchers working with autonomous mobile robotic systems. It is hoped that FIRA’s flagship event, called the FIRA Robot World Cup (or the FIRA Cup in short), which started in 1996, together with many other FIRA events, will help generate interests in robotics in the young minds.

Through these events, FIRA hopes to help them better understand and appreciate, with interests, the scientific concepts and technological developments involved. FIRA believes that some of these interests will fuel scientific and engineering skills that ultimately develop into research outcomes to serve mankind in a variety of ways.

Ever since its establishment, FIRA has had venues for its annual FIRA Cup in Australia, Brazil, China, France and Korea. Making progress over successive years since 1996, FIRA Cup has now attained world recognition as a robot festival.


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