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New 5th International Aerial Robotics Competition mission announced

8th September 2008 - 01:00 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


The International Aerial Robotics Competition (IARC) began in 1991 on the campus of the Georgia Institute of Technology and is the longest running university-based robotics competition in the world.

Since 1991, collegiate teams with the backing of industry and government have fielded autonomous flying robots in an attempt to perform missions that required robotic behaviors never before exhibited in a flying machine.  The AUVSI International Aerial Robotics Competition has been in existence for 18 years and is now entering its 19th year with a new mission.

The primary goal of the competition has been to provide a reason for the state-of-the art in aerial robotics to move forward. Challenges set before the international collegiate community have been geared to produce advances in the state-of-the-art at an evermore aggressive pace. As of 2006 four missions had been proposed. Each of them involved fully autonomous robotic behavior that was undemonstrated at the time and impossible for any robotic system fielded anywhere in the world, even by the most sophisticated military robots belonging to the super powers.

In July of 2008, the 4th Mission of the Competition was completed at the U.S. Army's Ft. Benning McKenna MOUT site in Columbus Georgia, USA. $80,000 in prize money was awarded.  The 4th Mission of the IARC required collegiate teams to create fully autonomous flying robots capable of negotiating urban situations from a significant stand-off distance of 3km.  Each aerial robot had to independently find and enter a designated building in order to locate and relay specific target information back to its launch point without any human intervention. The new 5th Mission picks up where the 4th Mission left off by demonstrating the fully autonomous aerial robotic behaviors necessary to rapidly negotiate the confined internal spaces of a structure once it has been penetrated by an air vehicle.

University teams interested in attempting this currently 'undemonstrated' challenge are requested to view the official IARC web site at: and in particular the Official Rules at: .  An application for entry is linked to these sites along with instructions about how to submit an application to IARC creator and organizer, Prof. Robert C. Michelson (a past President of the AUVSI).

The Shephard News Team


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