Robotics Challenges provide an exciting competitive environment while creating challenges that advance the state of robotics today. 2015 challenges included: The Amazon Picking Challenge-- teams built their own robot hardware and software that can attempt simplified versions of the general task of picking items from shelves. The robots were presented with an inventory shelf asked to pick a subset of the products and put them in a bin. The challenge combines object recognition, pose recognition, grasp planning, compliant manipulation, motion planning, task planning, task execution, and error detection and recovery. The robots were scored by how many items are picked in a fixed amount of time, with $26,000 in prizes being awarded. Humanitarian Robotics and Automation Technology Challenge--The HRATC challenge promoted the development of new strategies for autonomous landmine detection using a mobile (ground) robot. The strategies developed by the participating teams were objectively and quantitatively evaluated according to the following criteria: exploration time and environmental coverage; detection and classification quality. Humanoids Application Challenge--DARwin-OP is an open platform humanoid project supported by NSF. Being a vision-capable humanoid with full functionality and scalability, the challenge encouraged creative applications from around the globe and maximize contribution for humanoid research. The IEEE Robotics & Automations Society (RAS) Micro/Nano Robotics & Automation Technical Committee (MNRA) conducted the 2015 Mobile Microrobotics Challenge, in which microrobots on the order of the diameter of a human hair faced off in tests of autonomy, accuracy, and assembly. In the Autonomous Mobility & Accuracy Challenge, Microrobots tracked a predefined micro-scale trajectory (rectangle, circle, triangle, etc.) multiple times. Microassembly Challenge: Microrobots assembled multiple microscale components inside a narrow channel in a fixed amount of time. This task simulates anticipated applications of microassembly, including manipulation within a human blood vessel and the assembly of components in nanomanufacturing. ICRA is the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society's flagship conference and is a premier international forum for robotics researchers to present their work.
Robotics challenges added excitement and technological advancement to the 2015 International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), held May 26-30 in Seattle. Contests included Amazon Picking, humanitarian tech, humanoid aps, and micro/nano.