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Competitions and Demonstrations 2014


Held since 2006, the Student Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Challenge - Europe (SAUC-E) challenges the next generation of engineers to design and build an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) capable of performing realistic missions. The event is designed to encourage students to think about underwater technology and related applications while fostering innovation and technology. It also aims at getting young engineers and scientists to consider careers in the field.

From 2010 SAUC-E has been held in La Spezia, Italy, at the NATO Undersea Research Centre (NURC), now Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation (CMRE). The CMRE is now pleased to announce that it will host the SAUC-E competition for the fifth time in a row.

The dates of the 2014 competition are September 20 – September 26.

RoCKIn Robot Challenge

RoCKIn is short for "Robot Competitions Kick Innovation in Cognitive Systems and Robotics" and is an EU-funded Coordination Action aiming at the promotion of research and education in Robotics through competitions. After a successful sequence of two preparatory Camps where more than 70 students took their first steps towards building a team, RoCKIn is now announcing the RoCKIn Competition 2014, to be held in Toulouse, France in the mind-blowing spaces of the science museum La Cité de L'Espace November 26-30, 2014.

RoCKIn comes in two flavours — RoCKIn@Home and RoCKIn@Work. Both challenges require basic navigation capabilities for mobile platforms, advanced (possibly distributed) perception, manipulation and human-robot interaction. RoCKIn@Home focuses on tasks that service robots execute in a real home environment, while the tasks to be performed in RoCKIn@Work target an industrial automation scenario. The deadline for the written part of the application is 9 May 2014. The 2015 event will take place in Lisbon, Portugal.

ARGOS Challenge

The first ARGOS Challenge (Autonomous Robot for Gas & Oil Sites) has been launched by Total in partnership with the French National Research Agency (ANR). In fielding this original initiative, Total seeks to attract the attention of actors across the robotics world to the difficulties encountered by the oil & gas industry. The aim is to fuel interest in pooling competencies to produce the "robots of tomorrow" that will meet the needs of our sites.

The ARGOS challenge is an international competition open to all players in the robotic community, whether industrial or researchers from the academic world. Total and ANR would like to see them come forward as pre-formed teams to present their projects. The teams chosen by Total and the ANR will receive a minimum of €500,000 and will have two and half years to think up a robot that has the capabilities we seek, of accomplishing repetitive tasks and of responding in an emergency. The goal is to design automated systems for safely maintaining and inspecting our installations.The written application deadline is 18 March 2014.

Flying Donkey Challenge

The Flying Donkey Challenge is an escalating series of sub-challenges held annually in Africa. World-leading roboticists, engineers, regulators, logisticians, and designers will win substantial grants by advancing the safety, durability, legality, and friendliness of cargo robots. The project aims to create a commercially viable cargo robot by 2020 – a UAV rugged enough to carry medium-sized loads over long distances.. The challenge is in its early stages; teams from around the world are currently signing up and getting started on new ideas. In 2018, with world media attention, the sub-challenges will culminate in a race of Flying Donkeys around Mount Kenya, Africa's second-highest peak, delivering and collecting 20 kilo payloads along the way. The victors will win a cash prize worth millions.

For the first edition in 2014, three technical sub-challenges have been organised: Precision Take-off & Landing, GPS Denied Navigation, and Sense & Avoid. The event will take place in Kenya 8 - 16 November at the Northern Rangelands Trust. The written application deadline is 28 February 2014.

UAV Outback Rescue

UAV Challenge - Outback Rescue has been developed to promote UAV's significance to Australia. The UAV Challenge is a joint initiative between the Queensland Government, the Australian Research Centre for Aerospace Automation, and Aviation Development Australia.

Outback Joe is lost in the Australian outback and desperately needs assistance. You must develop a UAV that is capable of locating Outback Joe and delivering an emergency package to him. Over a 60 minute period teams launch their aircraft, conduct their search and locate Outback Joe. Once he has been found a GPS coordinate representing Outback Joe's location must be provided to the judges. The competition is open to Australian and international aerospace enthusiasts of all stripes.

The next challenge takes place in Kingaroy, Queensland on 22 - 25 September and sports a first prize of $50,000 for a successful rescue!

Field Robot Event

Field Robot presents the future of precision agriculture and horticulture via an annual and international open-air field robot contest. It is the only open-air agricultural field robot contest in the world, where students and professionals compete in a hands-on learning agricultural field domain. Right now, a small revolution is taking place. A new breed of autonomous systems will soon be able to carry out a variety of tasks in row crops, such as weeding, spraying and disease monitoring. The contest allows unlimited creativity: no restrictions apply to the robot design and construction. The challenge for the competitors is to improve off-road robot building skills, and contribute to the creation of a knowledge base for intelligent navigation, sensing and acting of autonomous vehicles.

The 2014 event is being organized by the University of Hohenheim and will take place 17 - 19 June at the DLG International Crop Production Centre in Strenzfeld, just outside of Bernburg, Germany. It's early days, so visit the Field Robot Event 2013 website to get a full taste of of the event.


EURATHLON is a relatively new robot competition supported by the European Commission in the FP7. The vision of EURATHLON is to provide real-world robotics challenges that will test the intelligence and autonomy of outdoor/off-road robots in demanding mock disaster-response scenarios. Inspired by the Fukushima disaster we envision a competition that requires autonomous flying, land and underwater robots acting together to survey the disaster, collect environmental data, and identify critical hazards.

Non-European team members are eligible; however, the team leader must hold European citizenship. Non-European corporations and non-governmental organizations may participate as team sponsors. Teams receiving funding or any form of support from non-European governments or non-European governmental organizations are not eligible to participate.

This year the focus is on underwater vehicles and the competition will take place 29 September - 3 October at the NATO Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation (CMRE) in La Spezia, Italy.

USC Student UAV Competition

The purpose of this Unmanned Systems Canada competition is to promote and develop Canadian interest, expertise and experience in unmanned systems technologies at the university and college levels. The competition takes place in two phases with a Phase I design report from each team due 12 January and Phase II, operational demonstration, on 2 - 4 May. Teams will be graded on the quality and completeness of their design report and the results of the demonstrations – there will be separate prizes for each phase. In 2014 the operational component will take place at the Southport UAV Test Site, Manitoba.

Your mission is to patrol a leaky pipeline and surrounding area. You will be required to identify the percentage of the crop that is polluted in a given area and map it. You will also be required to locate a rockslide and calculate its volume. Since you will be overflying the area, the pipeline owner is asking you to identify any suspicious activities, such as the presence of unauthorised people, dogs, or vehicles.


The IMAV is a yearly event that combines a scientific conference with a technological competition involving Micro Air Vehicles (MAVs). Such a combination allows research groups from all over the world to share their knowledge, and stimulates them to focus on research that can be used in real life scenarios. Every year the competition scenarios become more advanced and more extensive. However, competitors are given the opportunity to either do complete missions, or to focus on sub-elements of the mission scenario.

This year's competition will take place 3 - 5 August in Delft, Holland and will consist of a single mission that combines both outdoor and indoor mission elements. The focus is put on the following tasks: surveillance, recognition, endurance, and multi-MAV operations.


RobotsEAST provides high school students with experience in engineering, science, and technology through building remote-controlled robots. This multi-disciplinary competition exploits and advances their knowledge and capability in Mathematics, Physics, Tech. Ed., Journalism, and English. It culminates in a round-robin tournament involving four robots at a time (each weighing up to 30 kg) fighting for mastery of the playing field to determine the overall winner.

To make the competition technically accessible, the core power and control systems of the robots are constructed from a ready-to-use kit of parts supplied by RobotsEAST. The kit contains motors, batteries and the control system. The rest of the robot - what makes it unique - is designed by students and constructed from whatever materials they choose. In 2014 the competition will be held on the 2 - 3 May in the Dalplex at Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia.