Robotics Competitions and Challenges

  • Daniele Nardi
  • Jonathan Roberts
  • Manuela Veloso
  • Luke Fletcher

Abstract

This chapter explores the use of competitions to accelerate robotics research and promote science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. We argue that the field of robotics is particularly well suited to innovation through competitions. Two broad categories of robot competition are used to frame the discussion: human-inspired competitions and task-based challenges. Human-inspired robot competitions, of which the majority are sports contests, quickly move through platform development to focus on problem solving and test through game play. Task-based challenges attempt to attract participants by presenting a high aim for a robotic system. The contest can then be tuned, as required, to maintain motivation and ensure that the progress is made. Three case studies of robot competitions are presented, namely robot soccer, the UAV challenge, and the DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) grand challenges. The case studies serve to explore from the point of view of organizers and participants, the benefits and limitations of competitions, and what makes a good robot competition.

This chapter ends with some concluding remarks on the natural convergence of human-inspired competitions and task-based challenges in the promotion of STEM education, research, and vocations.

2-D

two-dimensional

3-D

three-dimensional

CASA

Civil Aviation Safety Authority

CMU

Carnegie Mellon University

DARPA

Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency

FIRA

Federation of International Robot-soccer Association

FIRST

For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology

IARC

International Aerial Robotics Competition

IMAV

International Micro Air Vehicles

MSL

middle-size league

NPO

nonprofit organization

NQE

national qualifying event

QID

qualifier, inspection and demonstration

RNDF

route network definition file

SAFMC

Singapore Amazing Flying Machine Competition

SPL

standard platform

SSL

small-size league

STEM

science, technology, engineering and mathematics

UBM

Universität der Bundeswehr Munich

xUCE

urban challenge event

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniele Nardi
    • 1
  • Jonathan Roberts
    • 2
  • Manuela Veloso
    • 3
  • Luke Fletcher
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Computer, Control, and Management EngineeringSapienza University of RomeRomeItaly
  2. 2.Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer ScienceQueensland University of TechnologyBrisbaneAustralia
  3. 3.Computer Science DepartmentCarnegie Mellon UniversityPittsburghUSA
  4. 4.Boeing Research & Technology AustraliaBrisbaneAustralia

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