A new robot competition supported by the European Commission
EURATHLON will provide real-world robotics challenges for outdoor robots in demanding scenarios. The trials and scenarios are chosen with regards to an important research topic of the European Union: "Restoring security and safety in case of crises." This field of research addresses all major robotics goals such as cognition, autonomy, adaptivity and robustness. Ideally, autonomous flying, land and underwater robots should act together to survey the situation, collect environmental data, and identify potential hazards.
To combine the land, sea and air robotics domains in one joint competition, EURATHLON brings together partners experienced in two well-established outdoor robotics competitions: the European Land Robot Trials (ELROB) and the Student Autonomous Underwater Challenge - Europe (SAUC-E). The experiences gathered in these events will transferred into EURATHLON, and together with the key scientific objectives targeted in EURATHLON 2013 (autonomous navigation & control and robust sensing & acting) they build the ground work to a large joint competition.
In 2015 EURATHLON will finally culminate in a grand challenge: air, land and sea robots collaborating in a post-disaster situation similar to the one encountered in Fukushima. Flying robots will map the area of intervention and collect environmental data. Underwater vehicles would sense for chemical spillage at sea. The land robots might gather close-in data and enter buildings. Thus, EURATHLON will create a not only European but world leading robotics event, yielding a boost in scientific progress as well as an increasing public awareness and acceptance of smart robots. For further information concerning the future development of EURATHLON have a look at www.eurathlon.eu.
The EURATHLON trials will be co-designed alongside a set of performance benchmarks, evaluating intelligence, autonomy, robustness etc. in the context of particular real-world scenarios and environments. The benchmarks will be proposed and developed in an open process, adapting existing best practices in the robotics community.
Although all system and hardware designs, algorithms etc. of robots entered for trials will, of course, remain the property of their teams, the organizers strongly encourage teams to allow publishing of data collected during trials. These data sets will provide other teams with the means for detailed comparative analysis.
Several workshops with a focus on EURATHLON trials and benchmarks will take place, intended primarily for student / researcher competitors, or teams planning to compete in EURATHLON. Major aim of these workshops is both, building a shared understanding of the challenges of real-world robotics and cross-fertilising ideas across (often detached) research communities in land, water and flying robotics.