What is RoboCup?
The Robot World Cup Initiative (RoboCup) is an international research and education initiative. It is an attempt to foster AI and intelligent robotics research by providing a standard problem where a wide range of technologies can be integrated and examined, as well as being used for integrated project-oriented education.
For this purpose, RoboCup chose to use the soccer game as a primary domain, and organizes RoboCup: The Robot World Cup Soccer Games and Conferences. In order for a robot team to actually perform a soccer game, various technologies must be incorporated including: design principles of autonomous agents, multi-agent collaboration, strategy acquisition, real-time reasoning, robotics, and sensor-fusion. RoboCup is a task for a team of multiple fast-moving robots under a dynamic environment. RoboCup also offers a software platform for research on the software aspects of RoboCup.
While the soccer game is used as a standard problem where a broad-range of efforts will be concentrated and integrated, competition is only a part of the RoboCup activity
(cited from the official RoboCup Web pages)