The IEEE Robotics and Automation Society announced last
week a new competition for the advancement of robotic research, with a
twist - the use of simulation systems and open source software to help
lower the barriers of such competitions.
The IEEE announced the first full-day tutorial, designed to
introduce and discuss simulation platforms and other associated
details, will take place Friday, Oct. 23 at a joint session hosted by
both Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh.
Full-day tutorials will also be held at the Georgia Institute of
Technology on Dec. 4 and the University of California, Merced on Dec.
11. Participants can also join in virtually at any of these events.
The IEEE is working with the National Institute of Standards and
Technology to support work in robotic research, especially in the area
of automated guided vehicles (AGVs). "Automating these systems to
operate in unstructured environments presents an exciting area of
current research in robotics and automation," said the IEEE in a
statement. "Unfortunately, the traditional entry barrier into this
research area is quite high. Researchers need an extensive physical
environment, robotic hardware, and knowledge in research areas ranging
from mobility and mapping to behavior generation and scheduling. An
accepted approach to lowering this entry barrier is through the use of
simulation systems and open source software."
The competition will take place at next year's International Conference on Robotics and Automation
(ICRA), which will take place in Kobe, Japan May 12-17, 2009. The theme
of the conference is "Robotics and IRT for Livable Societies." In
addition, the National Institute of Standards and Technology will be
administering a National Virtual Manufacturing Automation Competition
(VMAC) that will provide an opportunity for teams to try their
algorithms on actual robotic platforms. "It is our belief that
competitions are an effective means of stimulating interest and
participation among students by providing exciting technological
problems to tackle," the statement continued.
The IEEE is soliciting both faculty members and interested students
from universities to join these workshops. It is also inviting
researchers with backgrounds in multi-agent cooperation, robotic
mapping and localization, communications networks, and sensory
processing backgrounds are particularly encouraged to participate. For
more information, contact the NIST at firstname.lastname@example.org.