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Team ORIon is a newly created team within the Oxford Robotics Institute (ORI) at the University of Oxford. The team consists of undergraduate and graduate students, robotics researchers, and faculty members of the ORI whose experience and support will be leveraged to create a RoboCup@Home team capable of delivering across the whole competition.

Our first experience competing with the Toyota Human Support Robot was at the World Robot Summit (WRS) 2018 in Tokyo, Japan, where we competed in the Partner Robot Challenge (Real-Space). This is league is very similar to RoboCup’s Domestic Standard Platform League (DSPL) in which the robot is required to complete tasks in a typical home environment.

RoboCup’s DSPL affords a tangible new domain in which existing ORI research can be applied, and which provides new and challenging opportunities for the group. The capabilities of our DSPL system will build upon those developed over the last four years within the EU `STRANDS’ project. Key members of this project (Nick Hawes, Lars Kunze, Bruno Lacerda) recently moved to the ORI and will actively engage with Team ORIon.

The STRANDS project deployed autonomous mobile robots (MetraLabs SCITOS A5s) in a range of human-populated environments for long durations. These robots provided a range of services to real users similar to the tasks required in the DSPL. The ROS-based STRANDS Core System (SCS) developed will constitute an ideal basis for DSPL participation. The SCS is open source and its use by Team ORIon will contribute to its maintenance and development for use by the entire robotics community.

The Toyota Human Support Robot (HSR) will allow us to focus on developing the intelligence required for successfully completing the RoboCup@Home tasks, without the added burden of building and maintaining a custom platform. The STRANDS Core System which was originally developed for MetraLabs robots, was recently deployed on other platforms and will be ported to the Toyota HSR.