The most advanced robot technology on the planet will be on show this month at RoboCup 2010, in Singapore. Among the participants, teams from the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) will be looking to consolidate their success at last year's RoboCup, an annual symposium which incorporates robot competitions across a range of categories.
A team from the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Autonomous Systems led by two UTS academics, and including members from the UTS Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology, will participate in RoboCup@Home, the largest annual international competition for autonomous service robots in the world.
The UTS-led team has developed a personal assistance robot for in-home use, created with the goal of supporting human beings in various aspects of their lives. It could, for example, monitor the elderly where necessary, or enable less able people to participate in activities for which they would otherwise be unfit.
The robot will be judged on a number of aspects including: how well it interacts and co-operates with humans, its navigation and mapping skills and its computer vision and object recognition in natural light.
In addition, a group from UTS has worked with the University of Science and Technology, China to create an autonomous Humanoid Soccer Team, known as WrightEagle Unleashed! It will compete with new Nao robots in the standard platform league. The competition is played out with intelligence and strategy, rather than faster or stronger hardware, as all teams use identical robots.
In 2009, a research team from UTS and the University of New South Wales beat some of the best robot teams from across the globe at the RoboCup Rescue Challenge. That involves both autonomous and remote-controlled robots with the mission to navigate, map out and find dummy victims placed in a complicated environment which simulates a disaster area. The UTS/UNSW team won first place in the Autonomy category, second place in the Mobility category and finished fifth overall against a field of 40 teams.
The robot projects have attracted both undergraduate and postgraduate student participation. Robotics students at UTS benefit from the expertise of leading academics and cutting-edge technology, and the collaborative strength of involvement in cross-institutional teams. UTS is one of only three universities that are parties of the Centre of Excellence for Autonomous Systems - one of the largest robotics groups in the world.
Will we soon see a World Cup soccer game featuring only robots? Or perhaps the elderly in our community have helpful robots in their homes to assist them with everyday tasks? There are myriad potential uses for robots… One thing for sure is that UTS intends to remain at the forefront of the development of this exciting technology.
Source: Justine Bashford, UTS International. CRICOS Provider No: 00099F
David Samuel, Business Development Manager, Austrade-Colombo