IEEE-RAS Humanitarian Robotics and Automation Technology Challenge 2015

From 26 May, 2015 08:00 until 28 May, 2015 17:00
Categories: Competitions, RAS-SIGHT

IEEE-RAS Humanitarian Robotics and Automation Technology Challenge
"Help us to eradicate landmines and improve the quality of life for civilians"
to be held 26-28 May 2015 at ICRA, Seattle, WA USA (Coimbra, Portugal remotely)

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) is inviting the academic and non-academic community to participate in the second Humanitarian Robotics and Automation Technology Challenge (HRATC) at the 2015 International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA'15).

The 2015 edition of HRATC will focus on promoting the development of new strategies for autonomous landmine detection using a mobile (ground) robot. The strategies developed by the participating teams will be objectively and quantitatively evaluated according to the following criteria: exploration time and environmental coverage; detection and classification quality, i.e., when a metallic object is detected, it should be classified correctly as a landmine or non-landmine; landmine avoidance, i.e., while navigating, the robot should not go over landmines. The Challenge will take place in three phases: 1) Simulation Phase, 2) Testing Phase, and 3) Challenge Phase. Teams will be progressively eliminated after each phase and the remaining teams would move on to the next phase culminating in the Challenge (Finals) phase at ICRA'15. It should be noted that the teams do not need to purchase or build a robot instrumented with sensors or any of the accompanying software. Every team can participate remotely in each of the phases.

* How To Participate in the Challenge *
All potential participants should submit a paper (2-3 pages maximum) in the standard IEEE format including figures that describes the motivation, previous experiences and research (if any), and the main techniques that will be used during the Challenge. The organizers will then evaluate this paper and an acceptance notification containing further steps would follow. All submissions should be sent to <>.

All teams will use the same robot, called Husky, that will be available before (for remote practice runs) and during the Challenge. Furthermore, participants will have access to a simulator to develop their code before testing it remotely on the real robot.The Challenge will take place remotely in Coimbra, Portugal, and beamed in real time to the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle during ICRA'15. Necessary logistics and travel support will be provided depending on the number of qualifying teams.

Further information about the 2014 Challenge is available from

Important Dates

  • Entry Submissions – 15 November 2014
  • Acceptance Notifications – 15 December 2014
  • Challenge@ICRA'15 – 26-28 May 26 2015

Call for Particpation

The Challenge organizers thank the FP7-TIRAMISU project ( and Clearpath Robotics, Inc. for their support and partnership in organizing HRATC'15.

Raj Madhavan (IEEE-RAS & UMD-CP, USA)
Lino Marques (UCoimbra, Portugal)
Edson Prestes (UFRGS, Brazil)
Raj Dasgupta (UNOmaha, USA)

Organizing Committee
Vitor Jorge (UFRGS, Brazil)
Gonçalo Cabrita (UCoimbra, Portugal)
Adam Gryfe (Clearpath Tech., Canada)
Renan Maffei (UFRGS, Brazil)
Guilherme Franco (UFRGS, Brazil)
Jose Baca Garcia (UNOmaha, USA)
Mariana Kolberg (UFRGS, Brazil)

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