Led by Attila Vidács, the team of TMIT HSN Lab Cloud Robotics Group from the Budapest University of Technology and Economics won the international Agile Robotics for Industrial Automation Competition (ARIAC) and the $10,000 prize. Competitors were tasked with completing different challenges connected to robot agility and autonomous order fulfilment.
The Agile Robotics for Industrial Automation Competition is an annual simulation-based competition launched in 2017. Since 2018, the competition has offered cash prizes for the first-, second-, and third-place teams. This years’s total prize was $17,500. In ARIAC, teams have to design industrial robotic system control codes that can function in a dynamic environment.
According to the competition report, the main focus of ARIAC is to
“promote robot agility (the robotic system’s ability to respond in a dynamic environment) in industrial applications by utilizing the latest advances in artificial intelligence and robot planning.”
Competitors could program the implemented industrial environment via the interface provided by the Robot Operating System (ROS) Gazebo Environment for Agile Robotics (GEAR) simulator. Teams had to submit robot control codes and sensor configurations for a kitting operation, the university’s website reported. Their task was to program a robot with two arms and fifteen degrees of freedom (refers to the freedom of movement) to assemble a kit both from bins of stationary parts and from a moving conveyor, then to place the kit on an autonomous guided vehicle.
The HSN Lab team has been participating in the competition series since 2018. During these three years, they managed to get to the finals every time: they ranked 6th in 2018 and 5th in 2019. This year, the Hungarian team finished in first place.
Team Sirius of Denbar Robotics, the company of former NASA astronaut Dan Barry, ranked 2nd. This year’s 3rd-place team was RuBot from Rutgers University.
As the winner of the competition, the HSN Lab team received an invitation to the 2020 IEEE/ASME International Conference on Advanced Intelligent Mechatronics that was originally scheduled to be held on July 6-10 in Boston but has been restructured as a virtual conference due to the COVID−19 pandemic.