WADOO!!NEWS: Australian students build robot that destroys international agility competition
A group of engineering students have built a robot by the name of Pepper that has managed to take five awards at the international agility competition. The students from the University of New South Wales competed for the first time in 23 years at the International Ground Vehicle Competition.
[Image Courtesy of UNSW]
When it comes to robotics the competition is very well known and this is due to the fact that those taking part have no idea what the course is going to be like before they attend. The only thing that they are told about the course is that it will feature white lines along with fences and there will be obstacles and are given the rough size of these along with a vague idea about the shape of the course.
A mechatronics lecturer from UNSW, Mark Whitty, travelled with the students to the US and he said other than the brief amount of information they are given, the robot has to deal with whatever it comes across. To ensure that Pepper stood a good chance of being able to get around the course and deal with whatever came its way, the team gave the robot abilities so that it could sense in real time and then work out where it was and where other objects where and then work a way around the course.
The robot Pepper managed to break two course records and it kept up with the only other robot that had managed to complete what was said to be the advanced course. It managed to scoop up five awards in total. It took second in the overall competition, best performance on both advanced and basic courses, Rookie of the Year and 4th position in the Interoperability Challenge.
The students behind Pepper will now be raising support along with ideas and they are going to take part in the Middle Eastern Mohamed Bin Zayed International Robotics Challenge.
The student’s design of Pepper has pushed the boundaries of autonomous robot design further than ever before while at the same time helping students in making a name for themselves while pursuing their careers in robotics. They are making robots that are able to run in less controlled environments and in which automation needs improving.