[robotics-worldwide] CfP: IEEE ICRA 2010 Robot Challenge Virtual Manufacturing Automation Competition (VMAC)

Raj Madhavan raj.madhavan at nist.gov
Tue Nov 17 06:52:46 PST 2009

IEEE ICRA 2010 Robot Challenge
Virtual Manufacturing Automation Competition (VMAC)

Entries are sought for the 2010 Virtual Manufacturing Automation 
Competition (VMAC) to be held in conjunction with the 2010 IEEE 
International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) in Anchorage, 
Alaska. Participation in the competition will consist of a software 
demonstration of a team of robots solving one or more of the pre-defined 
challenge tasks in the USARSim simulation environment. This 
demonstration may be performed remotely or on-site in the simulated 
environment set up for the competition.
The goal of the challenge is to provide an industrially relevant 
scenario and performance benchmarks to assess technologies in the areas 
of robot navigation in dynamic unstructured environments, mixed 
palletizing operations, and mobile manipulation. The competition’s open 
source policy is designed to encourage collaboration and the 
dissemination of ideas and algorithms.

The competition will include several “elemental” tests as well as a full 
scenario. Teams are encouraged to participate in as many events as 
possible, with winners in each of the individual events as well as an 
overall winner being announced. Since this is a simulated event, perfect 
ground truth is available on such items as vehicle locations, package 
locations, package types, etc. It is desired that teams utilize as 
little of this information as possible, however, the organizers realize 
that most teams will require some help from ground truth. Teams must 
disclose their ground truth needs in their Team Description Paper 
(described below).

A Mixed Palletizing task will test a team’s ability to autonomously fill 
orders that a distribution center receives. The teams will have up to 3 
robotic arms available, and each arm will work simultaneously on up to 3 
pallets of materials. This test will consist of a circular conveyor of 
items (speed controlled by the team) from which team’s must assemble a 
stable configuration of contents on the pallets as rapidly as possible.
A Mobility task will have team’s autonomously deliver completed pallets 
throughout an unstructured factory environment. Teams will have up to 3 
robotic platforms available for delivering the pallets. When a pallet 
becomes available, the team must dock a robot with a loading conveyor to 
pick-up the pallet, and then deliver it to one of several locations.
A Scenario will combine the two elemental tests into a single event. 
Teams will prepare pallets for transport and then move them throughout 
the factory environment to their destination.

Potential participants should submit a team description paper (TDP) of 
their intended entry to roboSim at nist.gov. The TDP should contain which 
challenge events your team will participate in, a high-level description 
of the algorithms that you will employ, requirements that you will place 
on the simulation system (i.e. what robots, sensors, and infrastructure 
you expect to need), and references to the team’s relevant work in the area.
*** Team Description Papers due December 7, 2009 ***

More details can be found on the VMA Competition web page at 

Contact Details:
Dr. Stephen Balakirsky & Dr. Raj Madhavan
Intelligent Systems Division
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8230.
Email: robosim at nist.gov

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