RoboCup offers significant long term challenges, which will take a few decades to meet. However, due to the clarity of the final target, several subgoals can be derived, which define mid term and short term challenges. One of the major reasons why RoboCup is attractive to so many researchers is that it requires the integration of a broad range of technologies into a team of complete agents, as opposed to a task-specific functional module. The long term research issues are too broad to compile as a list of specific items. Nevertheless, the challenges involve a broad range of technological issues ranging from the development of physical components, such as high performance batteries and motors, to highly intelligent real time perception and control software.
The mid term technical challenges, which are the target for the next 10 years, can be made more concrete, and a partial list of specific topics can be compiled. Following is a partial list of research areas involved in RoboCup, mainly targeted for the mid term time span: (1) agent architecture in general, (2) combining reactive approach and modeling/planning approach, (3) real-time recognition, planning, and reasoning, (4) reasoning and action in dynamics environment, (5) sensor fusion, (6) multi-agent systems in general, (7) behavior learning for complex tasks, (8) strategy acquisition, and (9) cognitive modeling in general.
In addition to these technologies, providing a network-based soccer server with high quality 3D graphics capabilities requires advancement of technologies for the real time animation of simulated soccer players and network-based interactive multi-user server system. These are key technologies for network-based services in the coming years.
The RoboCup Challenge shall be understood in the context of larger and longer range challenges, rather than as a one-shot challenge. Thus, we wish to provide a series of short term challenges, which naturally leads to the accomplishment of the mid term and long term challenges. RoboCup challenge is organized into three major classes; (1) Synthetic Agent Challenge, (2) Physical Agent Challenge, and (3) Infrastructure Challenge. The RoboCup Synthetic Agent Challenge deal with technologies which can be developed using software simulator, which is described in this paper. The RoboCup Physical Agent Challenge intends to promote research using real robot, and thus requires longer-time frame for each challenge to be accomplished. Details of this challange is described in , and carried out together with the RoboCup Synthetic Agent Challenge but in more moderate timeframe. The Infrstructure Challenge will be presented to facilitate research to establish infrastructure aspect of RoboCup, AI, and robotics in general. Such challenge includes education programs, common robot platforms and components standard, automatic commentary systems and intelligent studio systems for RoboCup games.