The Fifth Annual AAAI Mobile Robot Competition and Exhibition was held in Portland, Oregon, in conjunction with the Thirteenth National Conference on Artificial Intelligence. The first event stressed navigation and planning. In addition to the competition, there was a mobile robot exhibition in which teams demonstrated robot behaviors that did not fit into the competition tasks. The robot competition raised the standard for autonomous mobile robotics, demonstrating the intelligent integration of perception, deliberation, and action.
After a summary of the rules, we outline the high and low points of the competition. Then we suggest ways such competitions could better accommodate new teams in the future. As early as 1993, it was apparent that industrial vacuuming robots were emerging as autonomous and well behaved at least in large industrial areas (Bonasso, Miller, and Kuipers 1993). Devising a sweep pattern on a bounded uncluttered surface to ensure complete coverage is a well-formed and solved problem. AI had nothing to contribute with regard to the basic cleaning task.
Space travel is an inherently hazardous undertaking which requires redundant components in hardware and software systems to prevent catastrophic mission failure. This is especially true when a robot is used for extraterrestrial exploration. A malfunction or accident which damages the robot can place the entire mission into jeopardy. To help ensure a successful mission, we suggest the use of several robots, each capable of accomplishing the task individually, but fully capable of cooperating and sharing the task load. These robots should be capable of dynamically delegating responsibility to solve their tasks. Our interest in this problem is how to maximize the efforts of a group of robots to make the best use of their capabilities. For the "Life on Mars" competition, we will have our team of two robots dynamically prioritize and segment the mapping and object retrieval tasks to make the best use of their abilities in the environment. Local Navigation Our robots are equipped with an array of ultrasonic sensors which is used in concert with shaft encoders to accomplish navigation.
The European Robotics League (ERL) announced the winners of ERL Emergency Robots 2017 major tournament, during the awards ceremony held on Saturday, 23rd September at Giardini Pro Patria, in Piombino, Italy. In addition to the Competition Awards, Marta Palau Franco from Bristol Robotics Laboratory and ERL Emergency project manager introduced the referees' special awards. "Behind a multi-domain competition there is always a large technical committee, I feel privileged to have worked with such an amazing team of volunteer referees, technical assistants and safety pilots and divers. We were delighted to give these awards to recognise teams' effort, fair play and hard work. The experience of participating in this robotics competition will prove beneficial for team members to develop further their professional career", said Marta Palau Franco.