RAS-SIGHT’s activities broadly fall under Challenges and Projects. While Challenges are intended to advance the state-of-the-artin robotics and automation and provide a platform for researchers and developers to participate in a group setting working towards addressing problems with a humanitarian slant, Projects facilitate communities and associated organizations to work closely with robotics and automation researchers to elevate the quality of life for the residents of communities across the globe.
Humanitarian Robotics and Automation Technology Challenge (HRATC)
RAS–SIGHT is engaging the academic and non-academic community to propose viable solutions in R&A to address relevant world problems through the Humanitarian Robotics and Automation Technology Challenge (HRATC). HRATC is an unprecedented opportunity for IEEE members from around the world to collaborate using their skills and education to benefit humanity. The problems (challenges) are framed with the environmental, cultural, structural, political, socio-economic and resource constraints so that solutions can be developed, deployed, and sustained. According to the UN Mine Action Service, landmines kill 15,000–20,000 people every year (mostly children) and maim countless more across 78 countries. Demining efforts cost US$ 300–1000 per mine, and, for every 5000 mines cleared, one person is killed and two are injured. Thus, clearing post-combat regions of landmines has proven to be a difficult, risky, dangerous and expensive task with enormous social implications for civilians. Motivated by these considerations, the IEEE Robotics & Automation Society – Special Interest Group on Humanitarian Technology (RAS–SIGHT) has been organizing the HRATCs since 2014.
There have been three HRATCs to-date. The inaugural HRATC took place at ICRA’14 in Hong Kong followed by ICRA’15 in Seattle and ICRA’16 in Stockholm.
HRATC 2017 will be held in conjunction with ICRA’17 on May 30th and 31st in Singapore