Million prize in the international robot competition

Million prize in the international robot competition

picture: The Avater robotic blindly explores a stone utilizing haptics.
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Credit score: Photograph: XPRIZE Basis

The NimbRo group from the College of Bonn received the grand prize of 5 million US {dollars} on the ANA Avatar XPRIZE competitors in Lengthy Seaside (USA). The competitors closing, sponsored by the Japanese airline All Nippon Airways (ANA) and arranged by the XPRIZE Basis, introduced collectively 17 groups from ten international locations who have been chosen from 99 registered analysis teams by way of a qualification course of. in a number of phases. With a complete of ten million US {dollars} in prizes, the ANA Avatar XPRIZE competitors was probably the most prized robotics competitors so far.

The Bonn group had already absolutely satisfied the worldwide jury in the course of the semi-final in Miami final September, the place they scored probably the most factors. The ultimate has now taken place in Lengthy Seaside, California. The aim of the ANA Avatar XPRIZE competitors was to develop robotic techniques with which individuals can nearly put themselves in one other place. It really works by way of an operator station and an avatar robotic that are linked by way of the Web. The avatar robotic’s sensors seize the surroundings, which is displayed within the operator station in such a manner that the consumer has the sensation of being within the distant location. The consumer’s actions are captured and transferred to the robotic avatar. This permits the consumer to maneuver round, manipulate objects, use instruments, and talk intuitively by way of speech, facial expressions, and gestures.

Intuitive use

Within the competitors, the avatar techniques weren’t checked by the builders, however by the members of a global jury. They solely had a couple of minutes to familiarize themselves with the system. “Due to this fact, intuitive usability was an vital aim within the design of the system,” explains Prof. Dr. Sven Behnke of the NimbRo group, who leads the Autonomous Clever Methods Group on the College of Bonn.

Within the finals, there was one qualifying spherical and two competitors rounds over three consecutive days. In all three races, the jury member was in a position to clear up all ten duties, which shaped a mission that might happen on a distant planet. Duties included speaking with a human, working a lightweight swap, estimating the load of objects, working an influence drill, and blindly figuring out a stone by the roughness of its floor. Along with job efficiency, judges additionally rated the standard of the telepresence expertise.

In each aggressive races, NimbRo additionally obtained full factors right here. In case of equivalent scores, the operating time was the decisive issue. With slightly below six minutes, NimbRo was nearly twice as quick right here because the second-best group “Pollen Robotics” from Bordeaux (France). For one of the best efficiency in competitors, NimbRo obtained the grand prize of 5 million US {dollars}. “My unbelievable group developed a strong avatar system for the complicated duties of the competitors and efficiently solved all the issues that arose,” Professor Behnke mentioned.

The NimbRo Avatar

The NimbRo group’s avatar system was developed over three years throughout the Autonomous Clever Methods group of the Institute of Pc Science VI – Clever Methods and Robotics on the College of Bonn, led by Prof. Sven Behnke. The robotic avatar has a human-like higher physique with two arms and five-fingered fingers. Hooked up to the top is a wide-angle stereo digicam, a stereo microphone, and a display on which the consumer’s face is animated. The distant scene is visualized to the consumer utilizing 3D knowledge glasses, with the consumer’s head actions being captured and transferred to the avatar’s head. This permits the consumer to go searching freely, see round obstacles, and look at objects from completely different angles, which considerably contributes to the sensation of immersion within the distant surroundings. Stereo audio can also be transmitted alongside reside video alerts.

The consumer senses the interplay forces of the avatar’s fingers by way of force-moment sensors within the wrist. The robotic arms detect the actions of the consumer’s hand and transmit them to the arms of the avatar. The exoskeletons of the hand mediate the actions of the fingers. Grip forces are sensed by finger motor currents and transmitted to the consumer’s fingers. Measurements from haptic sensors are transferred to the consumer’s fingertips. The avatar robotic can transfer in all instructions and activate the spot, with route and pace managed by a foot pedal. Orientation is supplied by cameras that create a panoramic view from above. The information glasses are geared up with three cameras to seize the consumer’s eye actions and facial expressions for reside facial animation displayed on the avatar robotic’s head display.

Past this competitors, avatar techniques have many purposes. These embody, for instance, assist for individuals who want help in managing their each day lives, telemedicine and use in inaccessible or harmful environments. “Avatar techniques have nice potential to beat the spatial separation between folks and may very well be as widespread in a number of years as videoconferencing techniques are immediately,” says Professor Behnke.

Movies of the ultimate competitors organized by the NimbRo group from the College of Bonn:

Avatar System Info:

Contest data:


Trainer. Dr. Sven Behnke
College of Bonn
Institute of Computing VI – Clever Methods and Robotics
Phone +49 228 734116
E mail: [email protected]

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