[robotics-worldwide] [meetings] IEEE-RAS Humanitarian Robotics and Automation Technology Challenge @ ICRA'14

Raj Madhavan madhavan.ieeeras at gmail.com
Tue Feb 4 18:04:16 PST 2014


CALL FOR PARTICIPATION

IEEE-RAS Humanitarian Robotics and Automation Technology Challenge
“Help us to eradicate landmines and improve the quality of life for 
civilians”
May 31st & June 1st, 2014 @ ICRA, Hong Kong (Coimbra, Portugal remotely)

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) is inviting the academic and non-academic community to 
participate in the first Humanitarian Robotics and Automation Technology 
Challenge (HRATC) at the 2014 International Conference on Robotics and 
Automation (ICRA’14).
	This edition will focus on promoting the development of new strategies 
for autonomous landmine detection using a mobile (ground) robot. These 
strategies will be evaluated according to the following criteria: 
exploration time and environmental coverage; detection and 
classification quality, i.e., when a metallic object is detected, it 
should be classified correctly as a landmine or non-landmine; landmine 
avoidance, i.e., while navigating, the robot should not go over landmines.

* How To Participate in the Challenge *
All potential participants should submit a paper (2-3 pages maximum) in 
the standard IEEE format including figures that describes the 
motivation, previous experiences and research (if any), and the main 
techniques that will be used during the Challenge. The organizers will 
then evaluate this paper and an acceptance notification containing 
further steps would follow. All submissions should be sent to 
<hratc2014 at gmail.com>.
All teams will use the same robot that will be available before (for 
remote practice runs) and during the Challenge. Furthermore, 
participants will have access to a simulator to develop their code 
before testing it remotely on the real robot.
The Challenge will take place remotely in Coimbra, Portugal, and beamed 
in real time to the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center during 
ICRA’14. Necessary logistics and travel support (level of support will 
vary depending on the number of teams) for the event will be provided by 
HRATC organizers. Further information about the Challenge is available 
at the Website link given above.

* Important Dates *
Entry Submissions – March 1, 2014
Acceptance Notifications – March 15, 2014
Challenge at ICRA’14 – May 31 & June 01, 2014

About IEEE RAS-SIGHT
The IEEE RAS–SIGHT is the first and only IEEE Society to have a SIGHT! 
The mission of RAS-SIGHT is the application of robotics and automation 
technologies for promoting humanitarian causes around the globe, and to 
leverage existing and emerging technologies for the benefit of humanity 
and towards increasing the quality of life in underserved, 
underdeveloped areas in collaboration with existing global communities 
and organizations. To engage the international community in these 
causes, starting in 2014, RAS-SIGHT will organize an HRATC in 
RAS-sponsored conferences.

Acknowledgments
The Challenge organizers thank the FP7-TIRAMISU project 
(http://www.fp7-tiramisu.eu/) and Clearpath Robotics, Inc. for their 
support and partnership in organizing HRATC’14.

Organizers
Raj Madhavan (IEEE-RAS & UMD-CP, USA)
Lino Marques (UCoimbra, Portugal)
Edson Prestes (UFRGS, Brazil)
Raj Dasgupta (UNOmaha, USA)

Organizing Committee
Vitor Jorge (UFRGS, Brazil)
Gonçalo Cabrita (UCoimbra, Portugal)
Adam Gryfe (Clearpath Tech., Canada)
Alaa Khamis (SuezU, Egypt)
Renan Maffei (UFRGS, Brazil)
Guilherme Franco (UFRGS, Brazil)
Jose Baca Garcia (UNOmaha, USA)
Mariana Kolberg (UFRGS, Brazil)

Contact Information
<hratc2014 at gmail.com>
http://www.isr.uc.pt/HRATC2014


-- 
Raj Madhavan, Ph.D.

Vice President, Industrial Activities Board
Chair, Standing Committee for Standards Activities
Chair, RAS-SIGHT (Special Interest Group on Humanitarian Technology)
IEEE Robotics and Automation Society
http://www.ieee-ras.org/industry-government/
http://www.ieee-ras.org/industry-government/standards/

Associate Research Scientist (on leave)
Institute for Systems Research, University of Maryland College Park
http://www.isr.umd.edu/faculty/madhavan


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