The 2019 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2019)
4-5 November, 2019 in Macau, China
Explosive remnants of war (ERW) are victim-operated weapons of mass destruction in slow motion that make no distinction between friendly or enemy, children or animals. Humanitarian demining or civilian-purpose demining or includes performing two main processes, namely, ERW reconnaissance and mapping and ERW clearance or disposal. Minesweepers: Towards a Landmine-free World is the first international robotic competition on humanitarian demining established in 2012. This competition aims at raising public awareness of the seriousness of landmines and UXOs contamination and fostering robotics research and its applications in the area of humanitarian demining in the world.
In this competition, each participating team build/use a tele-operated/autonomous unmanned ground/aerial vehicle to perform the two processes of humanitarian demining: detection and disposal. The robot must be able to search for buried and surface-laid anti-personnel landmines and UXOs. The position and the type of each detected object are visualized and overlaid on a minefield map. The detected surface landmines have to be safely displaced to a built-in container or to a designated area outside the competition arena. The robot must be able to navigate through simulated rough terrain in an indoor arena that mimics a real minefield.
The ultimate goal of the Minesweepers competition is to put into practice the strategic mission of IEEE, “…to foster technological innovation and excellence for the benefit of humanity” and to serve as an educational and a research forum to provide efficient, reliable, adaptive and cost-effective solutions for the serious problem of humanitarian demining in many affected countries in the world.
- Industrial Category: for professional companies and start-ups where metallic and non-metallic objects with different dimensions and profiles are available in the competition arena and landmine detection, landmine imagining, minefield mapping and landmine disposal are required.
- Academia Category: for undergraduate and postgraduate university students where only, metallic objects are available in the competition arena and landmine detection, minefield mapping and landmine disposal are required.
- Juniors Category: for elementary and high school students where only metallic objects are available in the competition arena and only landmine detection and landmine disposal, are required.
20% extra score is added in case of participating in one of the abovementioned categories with fully autonomous robot, use of Robot Operating System (ROS) as main robotics middleware, use of unmanned aerial vehicles or in case of using a multi-robot system (MRS) of at least one deminer and one supervisor to mimic the conventional mag-and-flag approach or standard operating procedures commonly used in humanitarian demining. Deminers have to be teleoperated unmanned vehicles and supervisor or team leader has to be autonomous vehicle. In this case, the robot team has to be able to work cooperatively in detecting surface-laid and buried objects and marking their locations.