Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Singapore Launches Urban Robot Challenge



Singapore Launches Urban Robot Challenge


Singapore’s Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA) has launched a competition with a cash prize of $652,000 to create an “urban warfare robot.” Dubbed TechX Challenge, the competition seeks to create a robot that will “be capable of autonomous navigation and target engagement,” said Mary Chen of DSTA corporate communications.

“It will be required to navigate itself in a number of different settings, from an outdoor environment to an indoor urban location,” said Chen.

Additional requirements include overcoming obstacles, negotiating stairs, and operating an elevator to search and engage designated targets before navigating back to the starting point.

The announcement, made on Jan. 23 by Ng Eng Hen, the second minister for defense, allows for any institution, foreign or domestic, to compete. The closing date for registration is May with finals scheduled for August 2008.

“This will serve to overcome current limitations in urban operations. Through TechX Challenge, we hope to stretch traditional boundaries and create a more vibrant defense R&D scene in Singapore. We believe the challenge posed will excite and attract many enthusiasts in robotics. We look forward to their participation in bringing their ideas to fruition,” said DSTA Chief Executive Richard Lim.