Robot Challenges

During ICRA 2016 there will be 4 challenges.

  • Airbus Shop Floor Challenge, Room C4
  • 2016 Mobile Microrobotics Challenge (MMC 2016), Room C4
  • 2016 Humanitarian Robotics and Automation Technology Challenge (HRATC 2016), Room 34
  • Formal Methods for Robotics (FMR) Challenge, Room: Bar on Level 5

The challenges will run during Tuesday the 17th and Wednesday the 18th. Winners will be announced during the awards lunch on Thursday the 19th.

Airbus Shop Floor Challenge
With backlog of almost 7000 aircraft, Airbus is looking to improve our manufacturing processes through integrating emerging robotic technologies and deploying successful solutions to our shop floors. Thus, we will organize an Airbus Shop Floor Challenge at ICRA2016, inviting the global robotic community to meet the specific, complex challenges of aircraft assembly. Competing teams will be challenged to develop a lightweight, agile robotic system able to target accurate point-based assembly process operations such as drilling, tightening and measurement.
Each aircraft is assembled through hundreds of thousands of point-based process steps. Most tasks involve a drilling process, a point-checking (i.e. measurement) process, and a tightening process. While some operations are automated, many remain manual due to a number of constraints – including space and weight restrictions. Using lightweight automation to perform such tasks would reduce the volume of the most repetitive, physically challenging labour of thousands of aircraft operators.
Because each generation of our manufacturing lines has a lifetime of more than a decade, robotic solutions need to be integrated into existing production environments, with no dedicated physical infrastructure. Accuracy requirements are stringent, and quality is paramount. Since errors in a single step can lead to costly fixes and even disruptions in production, solutions have to meet high reliability standards. In addition, they have to be cost effective in order to be widely deployed in existing Airbus factories.
Our goal is to provoke and facilitate open cooperation between a broad network of partners. We want to encourage the industry, labs, and academia to tackle technologic challenges which span across any single organisations’ expertise.
Selected contestants will be invited to visit Airbus’ manufacturing and research sites. The winning team will receive a cash prize, and the opportunity to further develop their idea for commercial application within Airbus.

2016 Mobile Microrobotics Challenge (MMC 2016)
The IEEE Robotics & Automations Society (RAS) Micro/Nano Robotics & Automation Technical Committee (MNRA) invites applications to participate in the 2016 Mobile Microrobotics Challenge, in which microrobots on the order of the diameter of a human hair face off in tests of autonomy, accuracy, and assembly. Teams can participate in up to three events:

  1. Autonomous Mobility & Accuracy Challenge: Microrobots must track predefined micro-scale trajectories multiple times. The trajectories represent the outlines of geometric shapes fabricated or superimposed on the substrate. The team with the fastest and most accurate traversal of all the trajectories is the winner.
  2. Microassembly Challenge: Microrobots must assemble a planar shape out of multiple microscale components located in a confined starting region. This task simulates anticipated applications of microassembly for medical or micromanufacturing applications.
  3. MMC Showcase & Poster Session: Each team has an opportunity to showcase and demonstrate any advanced capabilities and/or functionality of their microrobot system. Each participating team will get one vote to determine the Best in Show winner.
Winner (Best in Show):

Team UTV Romania: Valahia University of Targoviste

Ioan-Alexandru Ivan, Florin Dragomir, Ioana Dulama Valentin Gurgu, Alin Bucurica, Nicolae Radulescu

Winner (Assembly Challenge):

University of Waterloo Nanorobotic Group: University of Waterloo,

Tammy Liu, Manasa Kaniselvan, Ciara Azam, Natalie Pinchin

Winner (Mobility Challenge):

Team UTV Romania: Valahia University of Targoviste,

Ioan-Alexandru Ivan, Florin Dragomir, Ioana Dulama Valentin Gurgu, Alin Bucurica, Nicolae Radulescu

  • University of Waterloo Nanorobotic Group: University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Canada
  • Exemplary Indians: Indian Institute of Technology Patna, India
  • Team UTV Romania: Valahia University of Targoviste, Romania

2016 Humanitarian Robotics and Automation Technology Challenge (HRATC 2016)
According to the UN Mine Action Service, landmines kill 15,000–20,000 people every year (mostly children) and maim countless more across 78 countries. Demining efforts cost US$ 300–1000 per mine, and, for every 5000 mines cleared, one person is killed and two are injured. Thus, clearing post-combat regions of landmines has proven to be a difficult, risky, dangerous and expensive task with enormous social implications for civilians. Motivated by these considerations, the IEEE Robotics & Automation Society – Special Interest Group on Humanitarian Technology (RAS–SIGHT) is inviting the academic and non-academic community to participate in the second Humanitarian Robotics and Automation Technology Challenge (HRATC) at the 2016 International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA’16) to be held in Stockholm, Sweden in May.
Following on the footsteps of the success of the HRATC Challenge that was held at ICRA’14 in Hong Kong and ICRA’15 in Seattle, this third HRATC edition will continue to focus on promoting the development of new strategies for autonomous landmine detection using a mobile (ground) robot. The Challenge will take place in three phases: 1) Simulation Phase, 2) Testing Phase, and 3) Challenge Phase. The strategies developed by the participating teams will be objectively and quantitatively evaluated according to the following criteria: exploration time and environmental coverage; detection and classification quality; and landmine avoidance. Teams will be progressively eliminated after each phase and the remaining teams would move on to the next phase culminating in the Challenge (Finals) phase at ICRA’16. It should be noted that the teams do not need to purchase or build a robot instrumented with sensors or any of the accompanying software. Every team can participate remotely in each of the phases.


Team Autobots: Qbotics Labs & Sastra Robotics, Kerala, India

  • Team DISHARI: Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, Bangladesh
  • Team Tushar: IIITH, Hyderabad, India
  • Team Autobots: Qbotics Labs & Sastra Robotics, Kerala, India
  • Team Mav: Detectors Univ. of Nebraska at Omaha, USA

Formal Methods for Robotics (FMR) Challenge
We propose the first challenge on formal methods for robotics. Formal methods refers broadly to techniques for the verification and automatic synthesis of transition systems that satisfy desirable properties exactly or within some statistical tolerance. Though historically developed for concurrent software, recent work has brought these methods to bear on motion planning in robotics. Challenges specific to robotics, such as uncertainty and real-time constraints, have motivated extensions to existing methods and entirely novel treatments. However, compared to other areas within robotics research, demonstrations of formal methods have been surprisingly small-scale. The proposed robotics challenge seeks to motivate advancement of the state of the art toward practical realization. The challenge is organized into three problem domains: arbitrary dimensional chains of integrators, roads with Dubins cars, and factory cart clearing.


NOMAD, LPN-CNRS, France: Gilgueng Hwang, Antoine Barbot, Laurent Couraud