WATCH: An Australian robot wins the Amazon robotics challenge

The Australian team in Japan. Image: QUT

An Australian team has won first prize at the 2017 Amazon Robotics Challenge in Japan.

The Australian Centre for Robotic Vision, headquartered at QUT, entered what’s called a Cartesian manipulator, Cartman, built from scratch.

Cartman can move along three axes, like a gantry crane, with a rotating gripper allowing the robot to pick up objects using a suction or a simple two-finger grip.

Here is Cartman in action:

“We were the only team with a Cartesian robot at the event. Cartman was definitely a large reason for our success,” says team leader Dr Juxi Leitner.

“With six degrees of articulation and both a claw and suction gripper, Cartman gives us more flexibility to complete the tasks than an off-the-shelf robot can offer,” Leitner says.

“The robot is robust and tackles the task in an innovative way and is also cost effective. I think it would have been the lowest cost robot at the event.”

Fifteen of the centre’s 27-member team of researchers, sourced from QUT, the University of Adelaide and The Australian National University, were in Japan for the event.

The challenge combined object recognition, pose recognition, grasp planning, compliant manipulation, motion planning, task planning, task execution, and error detection and recovery.

The robots were scored by how many items they successfully picked up and stowed in a fixed amount of time.

The Amazon Robotics Challenge encourages idea sharing and innovation within the robotics and automation community.

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