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ECU researcher’s finalists in worldwide robotics competition

Friday, 11 June 2010


Researchers from ECU, in collaboration with the University of WA, Flinders University and primary sponsor Thales Australia, will compete as finalists this week in a multi-million dollar competition run by the Australian Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) and the US Department of Defence.

Known as the Multi-Autonomous Ground-robotic International Challenge, or MAGIC 2010, the competition aims to attract the most innovative solutions from around the world to address a technology gap faced by coalition forces operating in urban combat zones.

The Western Australian MAGIC 2010 Robotics Team or WAMBOT is the only team from WA to make the finals, and one of only two Australian sponsored teams to be competing in the international competition.

WA team coordinator and adjunct lecturer at ECU’s School of Computing and Security Science, Dr Adrian Boeing, says the competition has been a great learning experience, particularly for ECU students involved.

“The MAGIC 2010 project has been a unique opportunity for ECU students to take part in a cutting-edge real-world research and learning experience.”

“I am very proud that our team has made it to the final down-selection and I'm excited at the prospect of competing in the finals with the world's leading robotics teams”, said Dr Boeing.

The judges will visit each of the 12 semi-finalist teams, cutting the field down to five finalists by the end of June.

On June 11 MAGIC 2010 judges will visit the WAMBOT team, judging their unmanned vehicle prototype on its ability to autonomously co-ordinate, plan and execute a series of timed tasks including responding and classifying threats and mapping diverse terrains.

Each of the five finalists will then be given an additional US $50,000 to complete their entries, with the final challenge to take place between 8 -13 November, 2010.

The grand prize winner will be announced at the Land Warfighter Conference from 15-19 November in Brisbane, with the winning team receiving $750,000 to further develop their robotics research. The runner up and third placed team will receive $250,000 and $100,000 respectively.

For more information visit the WAMBOT team website.

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