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2014 NI Autonomous Robotics Competition (NI ARC)

 27 UNIVERSITY TEAMS FROM AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BATTLE IT OUT IN THE 4TH ANNUAL NI AUTONOMOUS ROBOTICS COMPETITION FINALS IN SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA

 

NI RobotsThe National Instruments Autonomous Robotics Competition (NI ARC) is an annual tertiary student robotics competition designed to inspire and recognise student innovation in the field of robotics. 

 

Each year, the competition theme focuses on an different industry and robotics application area . In 2012 it was search and rescue, in 2013 it was the detection of precious metals. For 2104, agriculture was the focus.  Themed 'Go, Sow, Grow!', fully autonomous robots had to collect seeds, navigate to a farming area littered with obstacles, deposit the collected seeds in designated planting areas, wirelessly communicate within their environment,  then navigate back to the home zone.

 

Growing from 10 teams in 2011, a total of 32 teams from 27 of the top universities in Australia and New Zealand took part in the 2014 NI ARC.  You can view photos and videos of team robots from the 2014 NI Autonomous Robotics competition through the NI ARC Facebook, Twitter and Youtube Pages.

 

The live Competition Final

To qualify for the finals, University teams of engineering students from multiple disciplines spent the last 6 months developing their autonomous robot, and had to pass 5 milestones to ensure they were on track to compete in the competition finals. All robots were built using an myRIO and LabVIEW system design software, featuring the LabVIEW Robotics Module. All students were provided with access to LabVIEW Training and also receiving ongoing support and mentoring from NI engineers.

In the knock-out style grand final structured comparably to soccer/football World Cup Finals, only the most robust, intelligent and consistent autonomous robots would successful make their way through the group phase, and multiple elimination rounds if there were to be crowned the 2014 Champions. 100’s of fans of all ages watched on as student teams from across Australia and New Zealand took on the competition task in head-to-head format.

 

Watch the video highlights from this year's live final. 

 

University of New South Wales Team Lab 202 defeated 26 teams from Australia and New Zealand to win the 2014 National Instruments Autonomous Robotics Competition (NI ARC) final, held at Macquarie University in Sydney last week.

 

 John Lam of the winning Lab 202 team, said three years of experience preparing for the competition year-on-year and a little friendly competition helped them finally take the title this year. “We’ve been entering the NI ARC for the past three years, so this year we were able to build a more robust robot and very well organised LabVIEW code. We also tested in the same fields as the other UNSW team throughout the year, which really pushed us to be as competitive as we could be.”

 

Lab 202 was awarded the first place prize of $3000, University of New South Wales Mechatronics was awarded $1500 in second place, $750 to the University of Wollongong in third and a prize of $500 was awarded to last year’s winners, Victoria University of Wellington, who won the Best Robot Design award by the NI ARC judges. All teams that successfully completed the competition final also get to keep the development kit which was provided by National Instruments.

 

Robots in DisplayMatej Krajnc, Managing Director for National Instruments Oceania, said the competition highlighted the importance of robotics in agriculture and helped students concentrate their skills to address the needs of the sector.

 

 “Robotics has the potential to help transform agriculture, providing farmers with a more efficient and productive way of working. Students who competed in the NI ARC were able to demonstrate how robotics can play an important role in agricultural applications,” said Krajnc.

 

Guest judges included Professor Bradley Skinner, Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Autonomous Systems, University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and the highly respected Professor Tim Hesketh, Conjoint Professor of Systems and Control. National Instruments Technical Marketing Engineer and Technical Lead for the NI ARC, Rejwan Ali was also on the panel.

 

Learn more about the NI ARC at australia.ni.com/ni-arc.

 

List of teams that participated in the 2014 NI ARC:

University of Sydney Charles Darwin University
University of Technology Sydne Flinders University
University of Western Sydney University of South Australia
University of Wollongong La Trobe University
University of New South Wales Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology
Macquarie University Swinburne University
University of Newcastle Victoria University 
Manukau Institute of Technology Monash University
University of Auckland University of Melbourne
Victoria University of Wellington University of Tasmania
Massey University Curtin University
Queensland University of Technology
University of Western Australia
University of Queensland  
Griffith University- Gold Coast Campus  
University of Southern Queensland  

 

 

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