The 2016 Contest has ended successfully.
Thank you to everyone who participated.
October 24, 2016
Japan Innovation Challenge 2016 Executive Committee

Japan Innovation Challenge 2016

■ Contest results overview

Oct. 17 (Mon.), 2016

None of the teams completed missions

Oct. 18 (Tues.), 2016

None of the teams completed missions

Oct. 19 (Weds.), 2016

Mission #1: “Discover” completed by:
CCN., LLC iRobotics Preparation Committee Team

Oct. 20 (Thurs.), 2016

Mission suspended because of bad weather

Oct. 21 (Fri.), 2016

Contest called off at noon because of strong wind
Mission #1: “Discover” completed by:
WorldLink & Company Co., Ltd SkyLink Japan Team

■ Summary videos showing scenes from the Contest

Oct. 17

Oct. 18

Oct. 19

Oct. 20 (mission suspended because of bad weather)

Oct. 21

■ Participating teams (in order entered; names listed without honorifics)

■ Pre-Contest briefing held

Pre-Contest briefing materials

■ Promotional video

Chapter 1: Conditions of the Contest

Version 1.5

■ Introduction

The objective of this Guide (“Guide”) is to lay down rules for the Japan Innovation Challenge 2016 Contest (“Contest”) and ensure the safety of all personnel involved in the Contest, including participants. If you find any deficiency in these rules or need clarification, please contact the organizer.

■ Terms

Terms used in this Guide have the following meanings:
(1) Contest: A robot contest to be held in accordance with the Guide, also known as Japan Innovation Challenge 2016 (trademark applied for).
(2) Organizer: The Japan Innovation Challenge 2016 Executive Committee, which hosts the Contest.
(3) Team: A unit of one or more individuals, corporations, or other organizations participating in the Contest.
(4) Venue: The place where the Contest will be held, as described in “Contest venue” below.
(5) Missions: Three tasks to be completed in the Contest. Specifically, “Discover,” “Reach,” and “Rescue” in alpine accident search and rescue operations. For more detailed information, please see the Missions section in Chapter 2: Match Content

■ Objective

The objective of the Contest is to accelerate the research and development of commercial robots in Japan’s robot industry by providing assistance during disasters as a specific example of a robotics application. It is also expected that more lives will be saved when robots or systems incorporating robots that completed the missions in the Contest are deployed across the country.

■ Contest period and hours

  1. Contest period
    The Contest will take place on weekdays, from October 17 (Monday) to October 21 (Friday), 2016 (“Contest Period”).
    However, if any safety hazard, such as snow, is observed during the Contest Period, the Contest may be closed early, even if the Contest is still in progress.
  2. Contest hours
    The Contest will take place from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on each day during the Contest Period
    Each team may begin preparations at 9:00 a.m. on each Contest day. After the mission ends each day, fully exit the Venue by 5:00 p.m. (“Venue Exit Time Limit”).
  3. Participation period
    All teams participating in the Contest must participate on the first day (Oct. 17 [Mon.], 2016). Participation on Day 2 and beyond is optional.

■ Contest venue

Forest owned by Kamishihoro-cho, Hokkaido (166 and 167, Kamiotofuke, Kamishihoro-cho)

■ Eligibility requirements

To participate in the Contest, a team must meet all of the following conditions. Applications from joint teams of students and corporations or of multiple corporations are acceptable.
(1) If a team’s membership consists of a corporation only, at least one of the corporations on the team must have been established based on Japanese law and be currently in existence. If a team’s membership includes individuals or organizations other than a corporation, at least one of the individuals or organization members must have their certificate of residence in Japan.
(2) None of the team members, whether they are individuals, corporations or other organizations, or members of corporations or other organizations, may belong to an anti-social force.
(3) Teams must finish registering in advance by midnight Oct. 14, 2016 on the official contest website (

■ Participation fee

No participation fee will be collected for the Contest.
However, each team is required to bear transportation, accommodation, meal, and other expenses incurred with regard to participating in the Contest.

■ Form of competition

The Contest is composed of three missions: “Discover,” “Reach,” and “Rescue.” Each team is required to participate in any of the three missions. For detailed information on each mission, please see the Missions section below.

■ Prizes

  1. The first teams to complete each mission in the Contest (“Discover,” “Reach,” “Rescue”) will be given the following prizes. If none of the teams complete a mission during the Contest, the prize money will be carried over to the next Contest.
    Mission #1: “Discover”: ¥500,000 prize (one team each day)
    Mission #2: “Reach”: ¥5,000,000 prize (one team during the Contest)
    Mission #3: “Rescue”: ¥20,000,000 prize (one team during the Contest)
  2. Winners cannot refuse to accept prize money.
  3. Whether a mission has been completed or not will be judged by the organizer in accordance with the criteria. Any objection about the organizer’s judgment may be presented to the organizer only by a team that actually participated in the relevant mission. If the organizer receives an objection, it may rethink its previous judgment as necessary at its discretion.

■ Facilities available for team use

  1. Teams can use classrooms at the former Hokumon Elementary School (an elementary school not currently in use; “Team Use Facility”). The school is close to the venue and may be used free of charge to teams. There are multiple classrooms available for use, but teams may need to share rooms depending on the situation. Internet (wired and wireless), power supply equipment, and heating equipment are available at the Team Use Facility.
  2. Parking will be available for one vehicle per team in the venue parking lot.
  3. The Team Use Facility will be used by teams participating in the Contest. Be considerate of other teams (noise, power supply equipment use, etc.) when using the facility.
  4. Neither the organizer nor any party concerned with the Contest bears any responsibility for loss of belongings or any accident, etc. in the Team Use Facility. It is your responsibility to manage valuables and other items.
  5. Each team is responsible for managing its own technical information, documents, and equipment. Teams should be particularly careful how they store data, documents, and equipment relevant to important technical information that they may wish to patent or treat as confidential expertise, so that other teams cannot access them. Neither the organizer nor any party concerned with the Contest bears any responsibility for leaks, etc. of technical information.
  6. Teams should reserve their own lodging as the organizer will not be assisting with this.

■ Measures for accident prevention / public health

  1. At least one hour before the start of a mission on each mission day, each team must submit documents on the safety measures they are taking to prevent accidents (“Safety Measures Documents”), including the following content. Teams that do not submit their Safety Measures Documents by the submission deadline will not be allowed to participate in the Contest.
    (1) Measures to ensure that robots do not harm people
    (2) Measures to ensure that robots do not harm other teams’ robots
    (3) Measures to ensure robots themselves are not lost or damaged
    (4) Measures to stop robots if they go beyond the virtual fence
    If necessary, the Organizer may ask for explanation of the submitted Safety Measures Documents. If asked, teams must provide explanation to the organizer. The organizer will recover any robot that stops working within the virtual fence because of a failure, etc. during a mission.
  2. Meals will not be provided by the organizer and should be arranged by each team.
    Take all your trash with you and dispose of it at an appropriate location.
  3. Team members (including the members of corporations or organizations comprising teams who actually participate in the Contest) and spectators will be enrolled in compensation insurance and personal property insurance (each team can register up to three robots). The organizer will pay the insurance fees.
  4. Missions may be canceled or suspended at the organizer’s discretion because of bad weather or other safety reasons.

■ Viewing the Contest

  1. There is no admission fee to view the Contest.
  2. Contest spectators will please use the spectator seating area provided by the organizer. Netting and other equipment will be used to ensure safety in the spectator seating area. To ensure safety, spectators are only allowed in the spectator seating area.
  3. The Contest will also be viewable over the internet.

Chapter 2: Match Content

■ Scenario

One day in the late fall, Mr. Obihiro went climbing.
It was a mountain he had never tried before, but he decided to go alone, relying on his past experience.
He arrived at the top later than he had expected, at 3:00 p.m., and started to climb down immediately.
At around 4:00 p.m., the weather suddenly changed and snow began to fall.
At 4:30 p.m., it turned into a snow storm, and he got lost.
At 5:00 p.m., he called for rescue over his cell phone.
He couldn’t tell them his exact location because he didn’t know it.
He has enough food and water to survive until morning.
He has a raincoat in case of bad weather such as rain, but he was not expecting snow.
Due to that, he cannot keep his body temperature up. He will freeze if left unaided.
A helicopter cannot go and rescue him because of the bad weather conditions.
Since the sun is about to set soon, the rescue team cannot go into the mountains and so they are preparing themselves for the next morning.
Then, rescuers became unable to reach him on his mobile phone, possibly because his battery ran out.
Therefore, the rescue team decides to try a robot-based rescue operation.
Since a rescue operation is scheduled for the next morning, the first thing the team should try is to discover the location of Mr. Obihiro.
If his location is found, the next step is to send a rescue robot.
It is possible that the robot may not be able to take him back because of bone fractures or the like. In such cases, the robot will leave a radio transmission device, a simple tent, blanket, and other necessary supplies at the location.
The clock is ticking. You need to find him and get him back safely as soon as possible. Now is the time for your robot.

■ General standards

  1. Robots (including drones) must be operated and used in accordance with the laws of Japan.
  2. The teams shall carefully consider safety measures and follow the organizer’s instructions so that the Contest will go on safely.
  3. If a team member violates any of the prohibitions, the team will be disqualified from further missions.
  4. All robots must remain within the virtual fence during the Contest (until 4:00 p.m. each day).
  5. The virtual fence is a polygon with about 20 apexes.
  6. All robots must carry a tag weighing about 200 grams for location tracking.The organizer will measure the positions of all robots during the Contest Period, and robot status may be recorded from the air by drones, etc.

■ Standards concerning the robot that may be used

  1. There is no ceiling on the cost of a robot that may be used in the Contest.
  2. Wired operation of robots is not allowed during Contest missions.
  3. Any number of robots may be used in the Contest.
  4. The robot may be operated automatically or manually.
    The radio frequency used must be lawful.
    The organizer will not coordinate wireless frequencies among teams.

■ General rules for the missions

  1. A dummy victim will be placed somewhere in the venue by the time the mission starts.
  2. The dummy may be placed at a different location every day.
  3. The location of the dummy will not be disclosed when the mission starts.
    It is prohibited to find out the location by improper means.
    The robot is not allowed to enter a space of 3 meters in radius and 10 meters in height around the dummy.
  4. Teams are not allowed to use tags or devices released from the robot until the day of the mission.
  5. The teams are required to operate their robots from the headquarters space, which is at the foot of the mountain.
    Team members are not allowed to go inside the virtual fence.
  6. The teams will activate their robots from the starting point at any time after the mission start signal is given by the organizer. The starting point will be large enough, but you need to be careful about collisions because more than one team will start at the same time. Collision avoidance is the responsibility of each team.
  7. Each team is allowed to place one board of about 1 meter by 1 meter at the starting point.
  8. During Contest missions, the robot must remain inside the virtual fence. However, the robot may be returned to the starting point for recharging or repairs.
  9. The robot must be able to automatically stop when it goes beyond the virtual fence. Any robot that goes beyond the virtual fence and comes to a halt will be collected by the organizer.

■ Missions

  1. Mission #1: “Discover”
    Mission #1 is to discover a dummy placed within the venue and get the geolocation and a photo. The rules are as outlined below:
    (1) A team that has discovered the location of the dummy will obtain its geolocation (latitude and longitude) and a photo of the dummy and send an inquiry with the geolocation and photo to the organizer’s email address.
    (2) The reference location of the dummy is its head, and latitude and longitude errors within ±30 meters will be accepted.
    (3) Within 5 minutes of the inquiry from the team, the organizer will send an email back notifying the team whether their geolocation data was correct.
    If it is correct, that information will be sent by email to all teams.
    If a team’s geolocation is incorrect, the results will be sent to that team only, and as a penalty, that team will not be able to make inquiries for 10 minutes afterwards.
    (4) If no team has completed the mission when 61 minutes have elapsed since the start, the dummy’s location will be told to all teams by email.
    (5) Robots may release an object weighing up to 100 g from the outside of their bodies. However, the team must be able to recover the object and the object must not impact the environment.
    Criteria for recognizing the successful completion of the mission:
    (1) Finish within 60 minutes of mission start.
    (2) Correct photo and geolocation of dummy sent to the organizer by email.
    (3) The geolocation reported for the dummy (latitude and longitude) is within ±30 meters of the correct geolocation.

  2. 2. Mission #2: “Reach”
    Mission #2 is to carry a rescue kit (a box weighing 3 kg, which is imagined to carry a wireless transceiver, blanket, etc.; the rescue kit is loaned by the organizer) to within 3 meters of the dummy. The rules are as outlined below.
    (1) In the case of dropping rescue kits, or dropping robots that carry rescue kits, from above, it is not allowed to drop those objects within 50 meters of the dummy.
    (2) If a team has completed the mission, that information will be sent by email to all teams.
    Criteria for recognizing the successful completion of the mission:
    (1) Finish within 180 minutes of mission start.
    (2) The robot shall arrive within 3 meters of the dummy.
    (3) The rescue kit shall be carried to within 3 meters of the dummy.

  3. 3. Mission #3: “Rescue”
    Mission #3 is to rescue the dummy and transport it to within 10 meters of the starting point. The rules are as outlined below:
    (1) Teams that wish to participate in only Mission #3 may do so. There is no obligation to start with Missions #1 and #2.
    (2) If any teams are given priority, all teams will be notified by email.
    (3) Teams other than those given priority shall lose the right to continue with the Contest that day.
    (4) After transport of the dummy is complete, the organizer will check whether there was any impact to the dummy and what the temperature was during transportation based on accelerometer and thermometer records.
    Criteria for recognizing the successful completion of the mission:
    (1) Finish within 360 minutes of mission start.
    (2) Transport dummy to within 10 meters of starting point.
    (3) The dummy shall be transported in an enclosed condition in a space that is 25°C–30°C and separated from the outside air.
    (4) Impact to the dummy during transportation shall be less than 1G in any direction.

■ End of mission

  1. Teams must leave the Contest area by the Venue Exit Time Limit after the mission is over. Robots left on the site will be recovered by the organizer and returned to the teams.
  2. Teams are prohibited to go inside the virtual fence after the mission is over.

■ Information about the dummy victim

(1) Human-shaped (androgynous)
(2) Skin is made of plastic
(3) It wears clothing
(4) Depending on the spot, it has a temperature of about 30°C
(5) It emits carbon dioxide from the head area
(6) There is an object with a beat near the heart area
(7) There is an accelerometer, thermometer, and GPS device in the chest area (teams cannot use the information acquired from these devices)
(8) Dummy weight is about 50 kg
Dummies will be lent to registered participants starting from August 2016.

■ Information about the rescue kit

(1) Cube-shaped (200 mm wide × 200 mm long × 200 mm tall)
(2) The weight is 3 kg.
(3) It is a wooden box that can withstand a certain degree of impact.
(4) It has a GPS device. (Teams cannot use the information acquired from these devices)
Kits will be lent to registered participants from August 2016.

■ Prohibitions

Teams participating in the Contest and their members are prohibited from doing the following things (“Prohibitions”). If a team or any of the team members violates any of these Prohibitions, the team will be disqualified from the Contest.
(1) Hindering the progress of the Contest or hindering any other team’s operations (including, but not limited to, physical interference or radio jamming)
(2) Participation in the missions by improper means
(3) Non-compliance with the organizer’s instructions
(4) Violation of the Contest rules, this Guide, or the like
(5) Intentional destruction of the venue or its facilities, equipment, or the like
(6) Actual or potential infringement of the property, privacy, or the like of the organizer, any other team, or a third party
(7) Violation of laws or regulations
(8) Anything else that is considered by the organizer to be as improper as any of those listed above

■ Suspension of the Contest

The organizer may suspend the Contest at its discretion in the event that:
(1) any Contest participant or spectator is involved in an accident, gets injured, or suffers any other serious harm; or
(2) an earthquake, fire, or other natural disaster or the like happens

■ Disclaimer concerning disputes

  1. 1. The organizer will not be responsible in any way for any disputes or the like that may arise between teams, between team members, or between a team or team member and a third party in connection with the Contest.
  2. 2. The organizer will not be responsible in any way for any accident or other damage that may be caused to a team member, a spectator, or a robot or other device or the like in connection with the Contest. All teams and spectators are advised to pay due attention to their own safety in the Contest.

■ Copyright, etc.

  1. (1) The organizer will not assert copyright, patents, or other rights with regard to the robots and other devices developed by the teams.
  2. (2) Those that successfully complete the Contest missions are allowed to use the designation “Japan Innovation Challenge 2016.” Conditions for using this designation will be separately specified by the organizer.

■ Media interviews

  1. 1. Please note that you may be asked to be interviewed by the media during the Contest, and it is your decision on how to respond.
  2. 2. If you have any technical information, devices, or the like which you do not wish to disclose, it is your responsibility to do whatever needs to be done, such as hiding them from view.

■ Application, etc.

We are currently coordinating with concerned ministries and agencies on a batch application relating to the use of drones.

■ Revision history

Oct. 13, 2016 Added to FAQs

Sept. 21, 2016 Added to FAQs

Aug. 19, 2016 Version 1.5, regulations changed (shortened schedule, provision for daily prize money for Mission #1)

Aug. 4, 2016 Version 1.4, regulations changed (no price ceiling on robots; made it possible to start participating with Mission #3)

July 14, 2016 Version 1.3, added sponsors (JTB Western Japan Corp.; TRUSTBANK, Inc.)

July 1, 2016 Version 1.2, changed weight of rescue kit (from 10 kg to 3 kg), added backers

June 20, 2016 Version 1.1, added site, application form

June 3, 2016 Version 1.0, first edition

■ Organizer

Japan Innovation Challenge 2016 Executive Committee

■ Sponsors

JTB Western Japan Corp.

■ Backers

The Office for Promotion of Regional Revitalization, Cabinet Office
Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism
Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry

■ Visiting the site

  1. Venue
    "The venue is at the foot of Naitai Highlands (Naitai Kogen) in Kamishihoro-cho, Hokkaido (166 and 167, Kamiotofuke, Kamishihoro-cho).
    You will need to visit by car, since it is far from the urban area of Kamishihoro-cho.
    To get there, aim for Naitai Kogen Farm."
  2. Missions schedule and hours open for visits
    Oct. 17 (Mon.) – 21 (Fri.), 2016
    9:30 a.m. Venue opens
    *Vehicles may be entering the venue before 9:30 a.m., so visitors are not allowed to enter before then for safety reasons.
    10:00 a.m. Missions begin
    *Visitors are free to enter and exit the venue between 10:00 a.m. and 4 p.m.
    4:00 p.m. End of missions
    5:00 p.m. Venue closes
    *Please exit the venue by 5:00 p.m.
  3. Parking
    There is enough parking for about 40 vehicles. (85-13, Kamiotofuke, Kamishihoro-cho)
    The parking lot is about a 15-minute walk from the venue.

■ Visitor application form

Applications are no longer being taken for 2016.

Applications are no longer being taken for 2016.


Q: You said that “if any safety hazard, such as snow, is observed during the Contest Period, the Contest may be closed early, even if the Contest is still in progress,” but what specific numerical values do you mean? And if you are to close early, how would you decide, and by what time?
A: For example, if a storm warning is issued, we may decide to close the Contest after a discussion. Based on that day’s conditions, we would send a message to participants by 9:00 a.m. and also make an announcement on the Contest’s official website.

Q: You said, “All teams participating in the Contest must participate on the first day (Oct. 17 (Mon.), 2016),” but is it possible to start participating midway through if it is impossible to get there on the first day, because of work, etc.?”
A: There will be an opening ceremony on the first day of the Contest. Please consult with us if you must miss it.

Q: Is it OK to leave when my own team’s mission is done?
A: Yes, you do not have to continue participating in the Contest until the final day.

Q: Is there a map showing the visitors’ area, virtual fence, and starting point?
A: A map will be released on the web in mid-August. However, for safety reasons, we ask that you do not visit the Contest venue without permission.
Please consult with us if you wish to inspect the site.

Q: There is going to be a position tracking tag that weighs about 200g. Can you give any detailed specifications? And will it be distributed to us?
A: Specifications will be announced in mid-August and tags will be distributed by the Contest office.

Q: Will it be possible to work on and maintain robots at the elementary school?
A: Yes. Just be sure you do not bother other teams.

Q: Can we use any number of robots and drones?
A: Yes, you can use as many as you like.

Q: What kind of search range do you anticipate?
A: At the least, it will be within the Contest venue (3 km2). The scenario is an accident in the mountains, so plan on forest roads and places apart from forest roads.

Q: Will we know the dummy’s clothing and color in advance?
A: Since the scenario is an accident in the mountains, it will be announced on the day of the Contest. You should assume it is typical mountain climbing clothing.

Q: What are the conditions under which humans can operate the robots?
A: The scenario is that you would be using robots deployed for a rescue from an actual alpine accident. So, the operating methods you could use include not only automatic operation, but also wireless operation and using images to confirm the dummy victim. As for the operating place, you will operate robots from the designated place (near the starting point).

Q: Specifically, what kind of people are on the Japan Innovation Challenge 2016 Executive Committee? Are there existing robotics companies or universities on the committee?
A: The committee membership will include the sponsor companies and local government personnel. We are presently making the final adjustments to the committee.
Membership has to be approved by the local government’s legislature, so an additional announcement will be made once there is an official decision. There will not be any existing robotics companies or universities on the committee.

Q: Do you plan to hold any detailed briefings or similar going forward?
A: There will be a pre-Contest Briefing at Roppongi Hills on August 19. Use the application form at the Contest’s website to apply to participate.

Q: Do teams have to participate in all three missions?
For example, is it possible to participate in the Contest and just do Mission #1 but not #2 and #3?
A: You do not have to participate in all missions. It is OK to participate in Mission #1 only.
Added Sept. 21, 2016 and Oct. 13, 2016

Q: What notation system should we use to send in the GPS information in Mission #1?
A: Use hours, minutes, and seconds.

Q: If a rescue kit crashed into the dummy during a drop in Mission #2: “Reach,” how you would judge that?
A: We would discuss the issue, but because the dummy basically represents a person, the team would be disqualified for that day if the rescue kit crashed into the dummy.

Q: Is there likely to be a problem of interference because of frequency during the Contest?
A: We are considering that if there are many participants and there is the potential for interference, the organizer could coordinate frequency band usage and notify the teams prior to the Contest.
(The following added Oct. 13, 2016)
Although it is conceivable that interference will happen during wireless use of drones, etc. at the Contest venue, each team should use a wireless system that considers interference and also consider using a band monitor to avoid interference. We hope that this event will lead to innovative ideas about the use of wireless systems. We have determined that it is impossible for us to set wireless system operating standards in advance for each team. Thank you for your understanding.
It is fine if teams speak with each other onsite to coordinate their frequencies.

Q: Will site weather and wind speed forecasts, dummy clothing, and other information be announced in advance?
A: Each morning, the organizer will announce information such as whether the Contest will be held and what clothing the dummy is wearing.

Q: Are there any limits on the number of people on each team?
A: No. There are no limits on how many people may be on a team.

Q: How will time and precision be reflected in the evaluation criteria in Missions #1 and #2? For example, will points be added or deducted based on distance error?
A: In Missions #1 and #2, as long as the results are within the precision described in the rules, there will be no further points added or deducted.

Q: Will we be able to make physical contact with robots that are within the virtual fence?
A: Robots can be operated from the starting point, so you can do things like change batteries, but if a robot becomes unusable in the mountains, it can no longer be physically touched until it is recovered after the end of that day’s mission. The organizer will recover such robots.

Q: Is it OK to touch the device to change the battery?
A: Yes, as long as it is done at the starting point.

Q: Will Mission #2 be considered completed if we first lower the rescue kit by rope and then drag it close to the dummy, or if we use a drone, etc. to carry the rescue kit, drop it, and then carry it closer to the dummy?
A: As long as you stay within the rules and comply with the law, the method does not matter, so we encourage you to try all sorts of ideas.

Q: How can we use the Ijyu Taiken House (“movable experience house”)?
A: After receiving applications, we will consider them and get back to you. We hope to have as many people as possible use it, so we will prioritize large groups.

■ Contact information

Japan Innovation Challenge 2016 Executive Committee Office
TRUSTBANK, Inc., person in charge Kamimura
[email protected] 03-5784-1089

■ Facebook