May 19, 2016 @ 18:53 |
Team Autobots, a Joint effort of two Indian Robotics companies, Sastra Robotics and Qbotics Labs won the third Humanitarian Robotics and Automation Technology Challenge in ICRA 2016.
According to the UN Mine Action Service, landmines kill 15,000–20,000 people every year (mostly children) and maim countless more across 78 countries. Demining efforts cost US$ 300–1000 per mine, and, for every 5000 mines cleared, one person is killed and two are injured. Thus, clearing post-combat regions of landmines has proven to be a difficult, risky, dangerous and expensive task with enormous social implications for civilians. Motivated by these considerations, the IEEE Robotics & Automation Society – Special Interest Group on Humanitarian Technology (RAS–SIGHT) invited the academic and non-academic community to participate in the third Humanitarian Robotics and Automation Technology Challenge (HRATC) at the 2016 International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA’16) held in Stockholm, Sweden in May.
The first and second HRATC Challenge held at ICRA 2014 in Hong Kong and ICRA 2015 in USA successfully, this third HRATC edition was also focused on promoting the development of new strategies for autonomous landmine detection using a mobile ground robot.
The challenge was to develop landmine detecting and classification algorithms in ROS (Robot Operating system) Hydro framework and implementing it on a Clearpath Husky A200 robot to complete the given task.
The Robot was equipped with a wide array of sensors including a stereo pair of GigE cameras and a SICK laser range finder. The SICK laser was mounted on a pan and tilt unit that allows acquiring 3D data scans of the environment. Furthermore, the robot had RTK GPS, IMU, and a Vallon VMP3 three-coil. The latter sensor was a pulse induction metal detector that is mounted on a 2 DOF robotic arm. Teams were allowed to use all the sensors needed to develop its own mine detection algorithms during the Challenge. The challenge was to develop only landmine detecting and classification algorithms, not the path planning, navigation and odometry algorithms.
There was three phase in challenge: 1) Simulation Phase, 2) Testing Phase, and 3) Challenge Phase. After each phase there was elimination round. The evaluation criteria for developed strategies by the participating teams were:
- Exploration time and environmental coverage
- Landmine Detection and classification quality
- Landmine avoidance
Team Autobots – India
Team Autobots includes three members, Achu Wilson, co-founder of Sastra Robotics, Lentin Joseph, co-founder of Qbotics Labs, Chandy alex, Software engineer, Sastra Robotics. Qbotics Labs is a research startup, doing research in Image Processing, Embedded System, Wearable technology, Green Technology and Robotics. Sastra Robotics India Pvt Ltd is an innovative, cost effective and quality solution provider for advanced robotics and automation services. A three-year old start-up company, Sastra Robotics is a collective effort of talented engineers, whose passion for robotics is exhibited through their untiring goal: to develop and market novel and high end technologies for a wider range of applications.
- Explore further: Japanese Team, NAIST wins ICRA 2016 Airbus Shop Floor Challenge
- Image -1 : Lentin Joseph/Qbotics Labs