The second RoboCup@Work world championship took place during RoboCup 2013 in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. Team SwarmLab@Work from University of Maastricht won the competition, taking the world championship title from the team LUHbots of Leibniz University Hannover, who secured the second place. The teams could demonstrate a lot of impressing results using the KUKA youBot, including very precise navigation and robust grasping of objects. For the first time objects could be picked up even from a moving conveyor belt.

Five teams participated at this event, four coming from Europe and one from Asia. All teams built upon the KUKA youBot as robotic platform, with a variety of different extensions. For navigating the mobile platform all teams use laser scanners, mostly in front as well as on the rear side of the robot. While the small Hokuyo URG URG-04LX-UG01 laser scanner was mostly used, one team also installed a bigger version with a 30m range. Although two blind spots beside the robots remain, this setup enables very robust navigation of the robot. 

In addition all teams mounted a camera on the robot arm near the gripper for object detection and grasping, in particular supporting visual servoing. These camera vary between simple webcams and 3D sensors such as the Asus Xtion.

For the software most teams built upon the ROS framework. As an example the LUHbots team works with ROS groovy. They use the default navigation that comes with ROS with only some configuring, with an extension for fine-positioning. The control of the arm has been done by the team itself. Object detection works mainly by 2D pattern matching using OpenCV. Exploiting 3D data from the cameras has been already prepared, but was not yet used during competition, making the object detection even more robust later.

Best of all, the teams are going to publish their software used in the contest publicly in the coming weeks. More information on the contest can be found on the RoboCup@Work website.