Robots


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AI Magazine

The Eighteenth National Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI-2002) Robot Challenge is part of an annual series of robot challenges and competitions. It is intended to promote the development of robot systems that interact intelligently with humans in natural environments. The Challenge task calls for a robot to attend the AAAI conference, which includes registering for the conference and giving a talk about itself. In this article, we review the task requirements, introduce the robots that participated at AAAI-2002 and describe the strengths and weaknesses of their performance. The purpose of the challenge is to promote the development of robot systems that interact intelligently with humans in natural environments.


The 1996 AAAI Mobile Robot Competition and Exhibition

AI Magazine

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 competition consisted of two events: (1) Office Navigation and (2) Clean Up the Tennis Court. The first event stressed navigation and planning. The second event stressed vision sensing and manipulation. 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 1994 AAAI Robot-Building Laboratory

AI Magazine

The 1994 AAAI Robot-Building Laboratory (RBL-94) was held during the Twelfth National Conference on Artificial Intelligence. The primary goal of RBL-94 was to provide those with little or no robotics experience the opportunity to acquire practical experience in a few days. Thirty persons, with backgrounds ranging from university professors to practitioners from industry, participated in the three-part lab. The event was meant to appeal to the hacker yearnings of participants to experience for themselves the joys and excitement of constructing a robot and to learn about the real problems of such an endeavor. RBL-94 was inspired by and shared a common history with a couple of robot-building laboratories.


Kansas State's SLICK WILLIE

AI Magazine

Robotics Team 1 from Kansas State University was the team that perfectly completed the Office Navigation event in the shortest time at the fifth Annual AAAI Mobile Robot Competition and Exhibition, held as part of the Thirteenth National Conference on Artificial Intelligence. The team, consisting of Michael Novak and Darrel Fossett, developed its code in an undergraduate softwareengineering course. The team, consisting of Michael Novak and Darrel Fossett, accomplished the complete Office Navigation event perfectly. In both the second and the final rounds, the software achieved the maximum points for successfully completing the event without hitting obstacles, hitting walls, incorrectly estimating the time for the meeting, or failing to enter rooms. The time for completion of the task was less than one-third the time of the only other team to perfectly complete the task.


The 2000 AAAI Mobile Robot Competition and Exhibition

AI Magazine

The events of the Ninth AAAI Robot Competition and Exhibition, held 30 July to 3 August 2000, included the popular Hors d'Oeuvres Anyone? and Challenge events as well as a new event, Urban Search and Rescue. Here, I describe these events as well as the exhibition and the concluding workshop. This year's event brought six contest teams and nine exhibition teams from the United States and Canada. The Robot Contest and Exhibition brings together teams from universities and other laboratories to compete and demonstrate state-ofthe-art research in robotics and AI (figure 1). The contest and exhibit have several goals: (1) encourage students to enter robotics and AI fields at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, (2) increase awareness of the field, and (3) foster the sharing of research ideas and technology. The competition and exhibition is actually made up of multiple events: several contests, a challenge event, an exhibit, and a final workshop for all participants. Descriptions of previous years events can be found in Dean and Bonasso (1993); Konolige (1994); Simmons (1995); Hinkle, Kortenkamp and Miller (1996); Kortenkamp, Nourbakhsh, and Hinkle (1997); Arkin (1998); and Meeden et al. (2000). The competition this year consisted of two events: Hors d'Oeuvres, Anyone? and a new event, Urban Search and Rescue. The event stresses human-robot interaction, as well as mobility, and each contestant is required to explicitly and unambiguously demonstrate interaction with the spectators. The fourth year for this popular event, the robots are judged while they serve finger foods to attendees at the AI Festival. Unlike other contests over the years, there were no artificial walls or constraints in this event--the robots had to interact with regular conference participants, and no attempt was made to limit the number of people interacting with each robot. Robots were judged on the quality of their interactions, coverage, and ability to refill their trays (such as detecting when they needed a refill and navigating to a refill station). In January 2000, a suggestion was made to introduce a new contest, Urban Search and Rescue (USAR).


Issues in Designing Physical Agents for Dynamic Real-Time Environments

AI Magazine

This article discusses a workshop held in conjunction with the Eighteenth International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI-03), held in Acapulco, Mexico, on 11 August 2003. However, much of the work does not take into account real-time constraints typically associated with many agent applications in addition to the incomplete and dynamic nature of the embedding environments. For example, in environments where a number of agents build teams, and both singleagent and collaborative decisions have to be made, such decisions have to be generated rapidly and in the appropriate time windows to be useful. Such topics include world modeling, planning, learning, agent communication, and software architectures. Within this general theme, the aim was to bring together researchers from different communities working with both robots and softbots (for example, RoboCup, cognitive robotics, intelligent autonomous vehicles).


The 1997 AAAI Mobile Robot Competition and Exhibition

AI Magazine

In July 1997, the Sixth Annual American Association for Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) Mobile Robot Competition and Exhibition was held. The competition consisted of four new events: (1) Find Life on Mars; (2) Find the Remote; (3) Home Vacuum; and (4) Hors d'Oeuvres, Anyone? The robot exhibition was the largest in AAAI history. This article presents the history, motivation, and contributions for the event. Based on the successes of the five earlier AAAI competitions, it was decided that introducing less structure into the competition venues would be more challenging, and indeed it was. Four new events were held: (1) Find Life on Mars; (2) Find the Remote; (3) Home Vacuum; and (4) Hors d'Oeuvres, Anyone? Each event posed new and different challenges to the robot team competitors than the officeenvironment tasks of past events. In this issue of AI Magazine, a series of articles describes the individual events and their results, often with associated profiles of winners and highlights of ...


The " Hors d'Oeuvres, Anyone? " Event

AI Magazine

Five teams entered their robotic waiters into the contest. After a preliminary round to judge the safety of the robots, the robots served conference attendees at the opening reception of the Fourteenth National Conference on Artificial Intelligence. Robots from five teams acted as waiters, serving snacks to the AAAI conference attendees at the opening reception. The robots served a variety of food items, including sandwiches, pretzels, peanuts, and candy. The primary criterion for food selection was that no item could be messy, preventing potential damage to the robotic hardware.


Robot-Building Lab and Contest at the 1993 National AI Conference

AI Magazine

A robot-building lab and contest was held at the Eleventh National Conference on Artificial Intelligence. Teams of three worked day and night for 72 hours to build tabletop autonomous robots of legos, a small microcontroller board, and sensors. The robots then competed head to head in two events. The contest was a chance to learn about building machines that operate in the real world. The lab was in a roped-off area of the main exhibition area.


The 2004 Mobile Robot Competition and Exhibition

AI Magazine

The thirteenth AAAI Mobile Robot Competition and Exhibition was once again collocated with AAAI-2204, in San Jose, California. As in previous years, the robot events drew competitors from both academia and industry to showcase state-ofthe-art mobile robot software and systems in four organized events. The primary purpose of the Mobile Robot Competition and Exhibition is to bring together researchers and students from academe and industry to showcase the latest state-of-the-art mobile robot capabilities. This year saw the return of the Rescue Robot Competition, the Mobile Robot Exhibition, and the Robot Challenge, and the addition of a new event, the Open Interaction Event. For the fifth time, the Rescue Robot Competition was run at AAAI, helping raise awareness of the unique challenges involved in urban search and rescue (USAR) operations.