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RoCKIn 2015: Gyro on its way to Germany

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Thirteen robotic teams from six countries participated in RoCKIn 2015, a competition held between the 21st and the 23rd of November in Lisbon. Team homer, from the University of Koblenz, Germany, was the winner of the event. As a reward, the team took home the first Gyro, the new edutainment robotic platform created by Artica.

Artica was one of the sponsors of the second robotic competition organized by Rockin (Robot Competitions Kick Innovation in Cognitive Systems and Robotics), a European project coordinated by the Instituto Superior Técnico (IST) which was launched in 2013 and will be concluded by the end of this year.

The big winner was team homer, from the University of Koblenz, Germany. As a reward for winning the RoCKIn competition, the team received this Monday, the first prototype of Gyro, the new edutainment robotic platform created by Artica. The new robot is already set up to be controlled remotely, draw and play music, among other functions. But through Gyro Creator, the programming platform with which it is equipped, Gyro is prepared to “learn” many other tasks.

During RoCKIn 2015, teams were challenged to fulfill several tasks in robotics, both in a home environment as in an industrial environment. For this, the RoCKIn organization created two areas: one simulating the home of grandmother Annie and another simulating a factory production area.

Inside the house, the goal was to provide the robots skills to ease the day-to-day life of elderly people, in this case, grandmother Annie, performing tasks such as setting the table, turn the lights on and off or welcoming visitors. In the industrial area, the intention was to provide the robots with intelligent systems so they were able, for example, to work as a team, recognize objects and fix production errors.

Robotics is getting ‘more feminine’

Pedro Lima, a professor at Instituto Superior Técnico (IST) and RoCKIn coordinator, is proud of the results of the competition that featured some of the best university teams in the robotics area, such as Smartlab, one of the winners of the RoboCup 2015, a major robotics competition that, in the last edition, was held in China.

The coordinator also highlighted the “excellent performance of the Portuguese team, SocRob, from IST, which participated for the second time and won several stages of the competition in the Home environment.”

Another “reason for being proud” was the increase of female participation. “We noticed, particularly in the ‘camps’ (training events organized during the RoCKIn project), that the number of girls is increasing. Maybe because we are focusing more on everyday functions which require a direct association with humans”, says Pedro Lima.

RoCKIn format will continue in 2016

Besides the competitions and camps that gathered hundreds of participants from all over the world, RoCKIn leaves another important legacy. The Instituto Superior Técnico has set, on its facilities, the structure of grandmother Annie’s house, which was used in the competition, so that “any team in the world can come to Lisbon with their robots to compare their performance with that of other robots that fulfill tasks in this environment.”

Pedro Lima also highlights that despite finishing at the end of this year, RoCKIn format will continue in 2016: “The European Union has approved, for 2016, a project with even more partners that will also have a competition section, therefore this format is to be continued”, concludes the professor.

Check RoCKIn 2015 winners:

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