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Aussies rule Amazon Robotics Challenge

The Japanese city of Nagoya hosted RoboCup 2017 last week. It was the 20th anniversary of an event which exists to foster ‘research and education in robotics and Artificial Intelligence’.

And it was also the location for the 2017 Amazon Robotics Challenge: another event dedicated to supporting ‘continued innovation within the robotics and automation community’. More than a quarter of a million dollars in prize money was up for grabs in the Amazon challenge, with a team from Australia picking up top spot and $80,000. The Australian Centre for Robotic Vision won the overall grand challenge for combined tasks. Its team of undergraduates and PhD students excelling at the pick and stow tasks using machine learning and a range of robotic hardware.

“This year, we made some changes to the Challenge to make it even more difficult and to encourage broader participation from multiple robotics fields – and the response was exciting. The versatility of recognition capabilities in an unstructured environment and the dexterity of grasping mechanisms was truly impressive. What we’re most proud of with the Amazon Robotics Challenge is its celebration of robotic community and the venue it’s created to share and promote research in a fun and rewarding way. Congratulations to our winners and all of our contestants,” said Joey Durham, Contest Chairperson and Manager of Research and Advanced Development for AmazonRobotics.

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