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ECU-led robotics team receives international acclaim

Friday, 19 November 2010

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The 2010 Multi Autonomous Ground-Robotic International Challenge (MAGIC), sponsored by the Australian Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) and US Department of Defence, officially came to an end on Friday, 12 November with the ECU-led MAGICian team receiving fourth place in the overall competition.

The MAGIC challenge, which commenced last year, aimed 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 ECU team worked with researchers from the University of WA, Flinders University and primary sponsor Thales Australia, to create a robotic prototype called WAMBOT.

The WAMBOT team was the only Australian team in the international competition to make the finals, which were held in South Australia from Sunday 7 to Friday 12 November.

The final challenge saw five international finalists compete in two main tasks; accurately and completely exploring and mapping the challenge area and correctly locating, classifying and recognising all simulated threats, with both tasks to be completed within a three-and –a-half-hour period.

Their ability to complete these tasks was then assessed by judges from both the DSTO and the US Department of Defence.  

WA team coordinator and adjunct Senior Lecturer at ECU’s School of Computing and Security Science, Dr Adrian Boeing, congratulated the team on their efforts over the past 12-months.   

“We had a great experience and the competition really pushed the boundaries of autonomous robotics and broke new ground. The results we achieved demonstrated how autonomous robots can enhance the capabilities of a soldier on the ground today.”

“This is the Olympics of robotics, and we are very happy to place fourth and represent Australia at this inaugural event,” said Dr Boeing.

For more information on the challenge to view the full list of winners visit the MAGIC 2010 website.

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