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Playing around with tech: RobUTS up for 2017 NI ARC

31 July 2017

RobUTS at work on Rob the bot. Image: Claire Hanna

The annual National Instruments Autonomous Robotics Competition (NI ARC) for tertiary students encourages development and innovation in the field of robotics.

Student teams representing the top universities from across Australia and New Zealand compete, with each team developing an autonomous robot that will be tested in a live competition. 

In 2017 the UTS team is Team RobUTS (meet them on video!), with a bot called…Rob. The five students - Matthew Clout, Denis Draca, Yujun Lai, Ben Sweedman and Sheila Sutjipto - are all in their final year of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering, and some have previous experience in the NI competition which they are hoping to build on for this year’s entry.

“We’re looking to develop on last year’s robot – hoping to incorporate some better sensors, avoid hitting some walls and improve on the algorithms that drive the autonomy of the bot,” said Ben.

Each year sees a new theme and for 2017 it is Transportation Innovation.

Teams will use industry leading hardware and software to design an intelligent vehicle which can follow road rules and regulations, giving the students a practical understanding of different facets of engineering

Each robot's objective is to earn the most amount of points from doing the required tasks and avoid point deductions for each run.

“We need to pick up passengers and transport them from one place to another, observe road rules and navigate around fixed and moving obstacles,” said Denis.

The team's objective is to optimise their robot's performance to do required tasks with the least amount of time to earn the most amount of points.

“UTS welcomes the NI challenge as competitions like this are a great way to motivate and challenge students to apply their learning, and to showcase their creatively and ingenuity responding to a realistic brief,” said Professor Ian Burnett, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology (FEIT).

“As host organisation, it’s great to be part of the spectacle and share the adrenaline of the competition!”

Date: Tuesday, 5th September 2017
Time: 9:00am - 5:00pm (quarterfinals from 2:00pm. Drop by anytime)
Location: Building 1, Level 5, Great Hall, University of Technology Sydney