MSPA 320-10 by welcomegong1


									                                                   DEFENCE MEDIA RELEASE

MSPA 320/10                                                             Tuesday, 27 July 2010

    Australian team among six to face final robot Grand Challenge
Six high-tech teams from the USA, Turkey, Japan and Australia have made it to the
finals of an international challenge to develop the next generation of fully autonomous
robots that could undertake dangerous missions on the future battlefield.

Australia’s Acting Chief Defence Scientist Dr. Warren Harch today announced the six
finalists who will compete in the Multi-Autonomous Ground-robotics International
Challenge (MAGIC) at the Royal Showground in Adelaide, South Australia in

The six teams are: Cappadocia (Turkey), Chiba (Japan), Magician (Australia), RASR
(USA), Team Michigan (USA), and University of Pennsylvania (USA).

“These teams are at the forefront of robotics technology,” Dr Harch said. “They have
survived a rigorous assessment and elimination process against six other semi-finalist

USA Tank Automotive Research, Development, and Engineering Center Director Dr.
Grace Bochenek said the competition fosters international cooperation.

“We hope to inspire the next generation of researchers,” she said. “We are always
seeking good ideas and fresh perspectives. This challenge is a win-win – we are
investing in solutions that will make our soldiers stronger through technology.”

Australian and USA officials visited all twelve short-listed teams during a hectic
period of several weeks to evaluate their robots. The teams performed a range of
activities to demonstrate certain capabilities including the ability to operate
autonomously and to map their surroundings digitally.

“The six successful teams displayed high levels of innovation and dexterity in
completing their assigned tasks,” Dr Harch said.

“They now have a few more months to fine-tune their concepts for the grand final
challenge when they will be required to field at least three robots and accomplish a
complex task involving mapping and identification of threats while demonstrating a
high level of autonomy between the robots. We want to move from the current
paradigm of one man-one robot to one man and many robots.”

MAGIC is a joint initiative of Australia’s Defence Science and Technology
Organisation and the USA Department of Defense. The aim is to develop teams of
robots which can operate autonomously on the battlefield in dangerous situations,
keeping soldiers out of harm’s way.

     Issued by Ministerial Support and Public Affairs, Department of Defence, Canberra, ACT
                             Phone: 02 6127 1999, Fax: 02 6265 1545
       Media Releases are available via e-mail if you register at
                                                   DEFENCE MEDIA RELEASE

Twenty three teams from five countries submitted entries. Competition officials chose
12 teams for the semi-finals. Now, six teams will compete in the final challenge. The
results from the final challenge will be announced in mid-November.

“I congratulate all the finalists and wish them well for the MAGIC Grand Challenge
in Australia,” Dr Harch said.

Media note:
Team details are attached.

Media contacts:
Steve Butler (DSTO): 08 8259 6923 or 0418 800 323
Defence Media Liaison: 02 6265 3343 or 0408 498 664

     Issued by Ministerial Support and Public Affairs, Department of Defence, Canberra, ACT
                             Phone: 02 6127 1999, Fax: 02 6265 1545
       Media Releases are available via e-mail if you register at

The following six teams will receive further funding of $50,000 each to complete their


1   MAGICIAN: University of Western Australia (Robotics and Automation
    Laboratory, Adaptive Systems Research Group); Flinders University (Artificial
    Intelligence and Intelligent Systems Laboratories); Edith Cowan University (Artificial
    Intelligence and Software Engineering Cluster); Thales Australia (D3S&A, Naval
    Division); and ILLIARC Pty Ltd.

    Contact (University of Western Australia): Professor Thomas Braunl, Tel. 08 6488 1763.

    Contact (Flinders University): Professor David Powers, Tel. 08 8201 3663.


2   CHIBA TEAM/Chiba University – Japan (Comprising Chiba University and Analytical
    Software Inc.)


3   CAPPADOCIA – Comprising ASELSAN (Turkish military electronics company) with
    Bilkent University, Bogazici University, Middle East Technical University from Turkey,
    and Ohio State University (Control & Intelligent Transportation Research Lab) of the


4   RASR - Reconnaissance and Autonomy for Small Robots Team - USA (Lead: Robotics
    Research, LLC; with Industry Partners: General Dynamics Robotic Systems, Qinetic-NA,
    Del Services, Cedar Creek Defence University, Carnegie Mellon Robotics Institute,
    Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, University of Michigan.)

5   TEAM MICHIGAN - USA (Comprising SoarTech with research support from the
    University of Michigan.)

6   UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA – USA (With BAE Systems as auxiliary team

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