Minesweepers Competition: Towards a Landmine-Free World
An Outdoor Robotic Competition on Humanitarian Demining
Zewail City of Science and Technology, Egypt,
Robotic competitions provide inspirational and motivational platforms for students, researchers and laypersons alike, to present their work to a wider forum with extensive media coverage. In order to foster robotics research and its applications in the area of humanitarian demining, Minesweepers: Towards a Landmine-free World was created as the first outdoor robotic competition on humanitarian demining. This competition aims at raising public awareness of the seriousness of landmines and unexploded ordnances (UXOs) contamination and fostering robotics research and its applications in the area of humanitarian demining in the world. In this competition, each participating team constructs a teleoperated/autonomous unmanned ground/aerial vehicle that 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 the minefield map. The robot must be able to navigate through rough terrain that mimics a real minefield.
The fifth edition of Minesweepers competition is hosted by Zewail City of Science and Technology in conjunction with Second International Workshop on Recent Advances in Robotics and Sensor Technology for Humanitarian Demining and Counter-IEDs (RST) on 27-30 October 2016. Latin America regional round will be organized by Universidad Católica del Norte in Chile. The competition is organized in collaboration with IEEE RAS Egypt Chapter (2015 IEEE RAS Chapter of the Year and 2012 Chapter of the Year in IEEE Region 8) and Hadath for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The competition is organized under the auspices of IEEE Robotics & Automation Society – Special Interest Group on Humanitarian Technology (RAS–SIGHT) and is supported by Canadian Landmine Foundation, Executive Secretariat for the Demining & Development of the North West Coast, Mines Action & Human Rights Foundation and Protection against Armaments & Consequences and African Robotics Network (AFRON).
The competition contains three main categories and two special categories:
1) Minesweepers-Juniors: for elementary and high school students where only metallic objects are available in the competition arena and only landmine detection is required.
2) Minesweepers–Academia: for undergraduate and postgraduate students where only metallic objects are available in the competition arena and both landmine detection and minefield mapping are required.
3) Minesweepers–Industry: for professional companies where metallic and non-metallic objects with different dimensions and profiles are available in the competition arena and landmine detection, landmine imagining and minefield mapping are required.
4) Special Category-I Multiple Minesweepers: The objective of this new category is to mimic the conventional mag-and-flag approach or SOP using multiple unmanned teleoperated and autonomous vehicles. Teleoperated vehicles play the role of human deminers while an autonomous vehicle is used to mimic the supervisor/team leader's role. The team leader has to be equipped with a gripper or a marking mechanism to mark the location of the landmine detected by the deminers. More than one deminer can be integrated into the team but only one supervisor or team leader is allowed. No mapping is required in this category. However, the robot team has to be able to work cooperatively in detecting metallic surface-laid and buried objects and marking their location in the arena.
5) Special Category-II ROS Minesweepers: The main requirement to participate in this category is to build the software system of the robot using Robot Operating System (ROS). ROS is an open source platform that provides a set of software libraries and tools to build robot applications. It provides hardware abstraction, device drivers, libraries, visualizers, message-passing, package management, and more. Building the robot based on ROS allows the Minesweepers participants making use of interesting software module and the high fidelity simulator developed by the participants of the different editions of Humanitarian Robotics and Automation Technology Challenge (HRATC) organized by IEEE RAS–SIGHT.
Competition Registration: 15 March - 1 July 2016
Video Submission Phase: 1 August 2016
Notification of Acceptance: 15 August 2016
International Competition: 27 - 30 October 2016
For more information see: http://www.landminefree.org/home/