A Cartesian robot wins the Amazon Robotic Challenge 2017

After Seattle in 2016, the 2017 edition of the Amazon Robotic Challenge was held in late July at Nagoya, Japan. The objective of this robotic competition remains unchanged: to find the best robot capable of identifying and storing various items presented to him at random. The desire of the E-Commerce giant is to automate a phase that is very labor intensive in its already hyper-rationalized logistics, the picking phase. Of the 16 teams in contention, it is that of the robotic vision center of the technical university of Queensland that won this challenge with an original solution: a Cartesian robot called Cartman for the occasion.

A robot assembled in a few hours has crushed commercial robots


The Technical University of Queensland succeeds that of Berlin to the list of winning teams of the Amazon Robotic Challenge, a robotics competition dedicated to logistics. To win a victory that earned him a prize of $ 80,000, the Australian team decided to design a robot specifically for the picking event. Rather than choosing a robotic arm from the market or even a semi-humanoid robot like the team from Tokyo University, the Australians have chosen to design a Cartesian robot specifically for the events of this contest. This choice made it possible to bring to Nagoya a robot at the same time inexpensive, but also having several gripping devices (clamp and suction cup in this case), in order to be able to seize the objects chosen by Amazon. This robot, equipped with 3 axes of movement and 6 axes of movement counting those of its gripping system, was named Cartman.

15 of the 27 members of the joint Queensland University of Technology team, the University of Adelaide and the National University of Australia were in Nagoya to defend Cartman’s chances. (Photo: Robotic Vision)

The Australian robot, who was overtaken in the picking and article races, managed to make the difference in the final event, ahead of Singapore and Germany rivals. Team leader Juxi Leitner pointed out that Cartman was the only Cartesian robot to participate in the competition, a bold choice as last year the Australian team had failed with a “classic” robot. “With 6 axes and both a clamp and a suction cup, Cartman has given us the flexibility to do all the tasks required of the robots.” Cartman has proven robust and has assumed all the tasks We have learned from our experience of last year when we used a robot bought on the shelf, I think we had the cheapest robot in the whole event! “
In his statement, the team announces 15,000 hours of work on Cartman. There is no doubt that this approach to creating an “ad-hoc” robot could be taken over by other teams next year for the next edition of the Amazon Robotic Challenge.

Translation : Google Translate

Source : “Centre Team Wins Amazon Robotics Challenge with Low Cost Robot”, Australian Centre of Computer Vision release, 2017 July 31

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