> our title:

Australia’s DMO Launches Robotics Competition

> original title:

Competition to Boost Robotics Technology

(Source: Australian Defence Matériel Organisation; issued June 6, 2013)

Defence is inviting Australian universities to participate in a competition to accelerate the development of next-generation robotics technology, Chief Defence Scientist Dr Alex Zelinsky announced today.

The Autonomous Ground Vehicles Competition will be led by Deakin University and sponsored by the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO).

Dr Zelinsky said robotics was already helping soldiers on operations by relieving them of some dangerous tasks.

“However, the technology needs further development so that robots can operate with less human supervision and greater co-operation between themselves to accomplish a mission,” Dr Zelinsky said.

“Cooperative teams of robots will be an effective capability in the future for protecting our Defence personnel.

“This competition is an opportunity for university students from across Australia to push the technology envelope and develop robotic systems with higher levels of autonomy than is presently possible.”

The competition allows students to gain theoretical and practical knowledge of robotics across a range of disciplines and develop the skills needed to produce autonomous vehicles for real world applications, including military operations.

“We hope this competition will also stimulate the development of Australia’s research and innovation in emerging technologies such as robotics,” Dr Zelinsky said.

For the competition grand final the university teams will need to field robots that can independently negotiate an outdoor obstacle course. The top three teams will be selected as winners. The first team will also win a trip for two to participate in the Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition in Detroit next year. The total prize pool is $60,000.

Applications for the competition open on 1 June and close on 26 July.

The competition finals will be held from 28 November to 1 December at Deakin University in Geelong.

“I encourage all Australian universities to take up this challenging opportunity,” Dr Zelinsky said.

For details on the competition, visit: http://www.dsto.defence.gov.au/agvc/