Build your own robot control software and win up to $10,000!
The Agile Robotics for Industrial Automation Competition, ARIAC, addresses a critical limitation of robots used in industrial environments like factory floors: They are not as agile as they need to be.
Many robots are not able to quickly detect failures or recover from those failures. They aren’t able to sense changes in their environment and modify their actions accordingly. Programming these robots for even the simplest tasks takes time and effort. Help solve this problem by coding your own robot control system (software) that can outperform everyone else’s in a simulated environment! Compete to win $17,500 in cash prizes and the opportunity to showcase your solution at a future robotics conference.
In June 2017, the National Institute of Standard and Technology (NIST) put on the first ARIAC Competition. The goal of the competition was to test the agility of industrial robot systems, with the goal of enabling industrial robots on the shop floors to be more productive, more autonomous, and to require less time from shop floor workers. For the second year of the competition, we introduced a cash prize to motivate and expand participation. This is the third year of the competition.
In this context, agility is defined broadly to address:
- Failure identification and recovery, where robots can detect failures in a manufacturing process and automatically recover from those failures
- Automated planning, to minimize (or eliminate) the up-front robot programming time when a new task is introduced
- Fixtureless environment, where robots can sense the environment and perform tasks on parts that are not in predefined locations
Participants are required to develop a robot control system (software) to control a robot in a simulated environment. Gazebo (http://www.gazebosim.com), which is an open source robotics simulation environment, will be used as the testing platform and the Robot Operating Systems (ROS), which is an open source set of software libraries and tools, will be used to define the interfaces to the simulation system.
Software interfaces will be made publicly available that will allow the Participants to control the robot. There will be one qualifier in the April 2019 timeframe with the final competition occurring in mid-May 2019. The competition will be performed virtually in the cloud, so physical attendance is not required to compete. NIST is proposing a workshop to a major robotics conference to allow the winning Participants to present their approaches; details, when available, will be posted to the official challenge website. See full details in How to Enter.