Smart Cities competition kicks off

Bristol, 13 February 2018


The European Robotics League (ERL) will reach our everyday lives with its new tournament category called Smart Cities.

For the last few years, the European Robotics League, funded by the European Commission to advance research, development and innovation in robotics and artificial intelligence, has run in three categories: emergency, industrial and service robots. Now teams from all three leagues will meet every two years in the Smart Cities tournaments, the first of which will be held in Milton Keynes, showcasing how real robots can make our lives better in urban environments.


The Bristol Robotics Laboratory, located at UWE Bristol’s Frenchay Campus. Photo credit: BRL

Last week, the SciRoc consortium that will take the European Robotics League to this new level, funded by the European Commission’s H2020 programme and led by a team from the University of the West of England, Bristol, met at the Bristol Robotics Laboratory to kick off the project. Representatives from the Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg (Germany), the Fundacion Andaluza para el Desarrollo Espacial (Spain), the NATO Science and Technology Organisation (Belgium), Eurobotics AISBL (Belgium), the Associacao Do Instituto Superior Tecnico Para a Investigacao e Desenvolvimento (Portugal), The Open University (UK), the Politecnico de Milano (Italy), the Universita Degli Studi di Roma la Sapienza (Italy) and the Universitat Politecnica de Cataluya (Spain), some of which attended remotely via the latest robotic teleconference technology, discussed the first steps towards this exciting new stage of the European Robotics League and collaborations with other European robotics initiatives, such as EUROBENCH and INBOTS projects, whose representative also attended the meeting.



Attendees, real and virtual, at the kick-off meeting of the SciRoc project.  Photo credit: ERL

More details will be given at the official launch of the new season of the European Robotics League at the European Robotics Forum (ERF) next month in Tampere, Finland, at the awards ceremony for the previous season.





Marta Palau Franco

Bristol Robotics Laboratory

T Building

Frenchay Campus


BS16 1QY

United Kingdom

Phone: +44 (0)117 32 83082


Notes for editors

ERL History

The ERL is a European robotics competition launched under the umbrella of SPARC- the Partnership for Robotics in Europe. International teams compete in three vibrant fields of robotics: industrial, service and emergency robotics.  Competitors engage in local matches and Smart Cities major tournaments distributed across Europe and organised by a coalition of Europe’s most prestigious robotics institutes.

The European Robotics League is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grants agreements n°688441 and n°780086.



The ERL is part of the SPARC public-private partnership set up by the European Commission and the euRobotics association to extend Europe’s leadership in civilian robotics. SPARC’s €700 million of funding from the Commission in 2014–0 is being combined with €1.4 billion of funding from European industry. See: