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ECU team finalists in worldwide robotics challenge

Tuesday, 03 August 2010


Researchers from ECU, in collaboration with the University of WA, Flinders University and primary sponsor Thales Australia, have been announced as one of six international finalists 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 attracts the most innovative solutions from around the world to address a technology gap faced by coalition forces operating in urban combat zones, with the aim to develop robots that can operate autonomously on the battlefield in dangerous situations, keeping soldiers out of harm’s way.

The MAGIC 2010 Robotics Team is one of only six international university teams chosen for the finals, which consists of teams from America, Turkey and Japan.

The final six teams, announced this week by Australia’s Acting Chief Defence Scientist, Dr Warren Harch will now go on to compete in the international finals in Adelaide in November.

“These teams are at the forefront of robotics technology. They have survived a rigorous assessment and elimination process against six other semi-finalist teams.”

“They now have a few more months to fine-tune their concepts for the grand final challenge, where they will be required to field at least three robots and accomplish a complex task involving mapping and identification of threats while demonstrating a high level of autonomy between the robots,” said Dr Harch.

ECU Acting Vice-Chancellor, Mr Warren Snell, congratulates the team on their fantastic achievement.

‘The achievements of the WAMBOT team highlights ECU’s continued commitment to research and innovation, and we wish the team all the best in the final challenge in November,” he said.

Australian and USA officials visited all twelve short-listed teams over a three week period, assessing the teams on a range of tasks, including the ability for their robots to operate autonomously and to map their surroundings digitally, before selecting the final six teams.

WA team coordinator and lecturer at ECU’s School of Computing and Security Science, Dr Adrian Boeing, is thrilled that the team has made the finals.

“I am very proud of our team’s efforts and to be the only remaining Australian team in the competition is a fantastic achievement.

“We are all very excited about the finals and are looking forward to bringing the first place prize to WA.”

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