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Robot Design Competition and NAO Programming Competition


Robot Design Competition

***update***: Please note that only written descriptions and initial sketches / proposed concepts etc. need to be submitted by the September deadline. Prototypes, performances, detailed plans etc. do have to be prepared until the conference presentation session in October.

Can a robot offer companionship? Could a robot friend be your confidante, your wing-man, your ally or your last defence against loneliness?

Robot Design Competition From KITT and K9 to Scutters and Siri; robot friends, pets, helpers and even lovers have captured our Sci-fi imaginations for many years. As technologies advance to make the dream of a robot buddy increasingly realisable, we want you to give us your perspective on what a modern/near future robot companion might be. The International Conference on Social Robotics 2013 welcomes conceptual or practical submissions to the robot design competition, which will be held during the conference. The competition is open to all disciplines and centres on the theme of ‘companionship’ in social robotics. We are looking for ideas for creating future robots that people will want to spend time with in a social sense, and the benefits that such robots may give to society or individuals.

This year the robot design competition welcomes applicants from any background and in whatever format best suits your idea and your practice. Submissions may include posters, videos, prototypes, models, puppets, performances, sculpture etc. The only constraint is that your idea can be presented to the conference audience in a busy room during an hour long session.

Each submission will need to be accompanied by a (maximum) 2 page summary including a concise abstract/synopsis of a maximum of 50 words. 10 submissions will be initially selected for presentation at the conference during an interactive session. One person from each of the selected designs will also be invited to attend half a day of the conference for free (attendance fees waived). Following the presentation, conference attendees will vote for the top three entries, all of whom will receive certificates and prizes provided by our fantastic sponsors IET Robotics & MechatronIcs TPN.

  • First prize: £400
  • Second prize: £200
  • Third prize: £100

Whatever your background or experience, this competition is a great way to meet and present your work to an international robotics research audience.

Submit your robot companion design in whatever format suits your idea to competition@pmstudio.co.uk If your application is physical, performative or otherwise unsuitable to submit via in this way, please send details to the email above and we will arrange the appropriate means to receive it. Please note that we are unable to cover transport or accommodation costs for shortlisted presenters.

Deadline for applications: Friday 20 September, 23:59 GMT
Shortlist contacted: Friday 27 September

The judging panel will include:
Ad Spiers – haptics and medical robotics researcher at BRL
Verity McIntosh – Pervasive Media Studio Producer

The robot design competition is jointly run by Bristol Robotics Laboratory and Watershed’s Pervasive Media Studio.


NAO Programming Competition

Active Robots Aldebaran

NAO Programming CompetitionCan a robot keep you entertained? As part of being a companion for a human, a robot would need to help them not to be bored and lonely, and one way it might do this is to keep them entertained: it could play a game, or teach them something, or work with them to create a story or dance. Aldebaran Robotics NAO is a 58cm tall humanoid robot platform that we want you to design a program for that can entertain a human companion.

In partnership with Aldebaran Robotics, and their UK distributor Active Robots, The International Conference on Social Robotics 2013 welcomes submissions to the NAO programming competition that will be held during the conference. Competitors will program their submission using the NAO programming tool Choregraphe, and/or one of the available SDKs, and test it using Webots for NAO, allowing you to control a simulated NAO robot. All software may be downloaded for free on a 3 month trial license from Aldebaran at: http://www.aldebaran-robotics.com/en/Discover-nao/Software/choregraphe.html. Competitors will also be given technical support from Aldebaran to help them produce their entries. Examples and ideas for NAO programs can be found packaged with Choregraphe and on the NAO App store.

The software you have designed and written will need to be described in a (maximum) 3 page report including a concise abstract/synopsis of a maximum of 50 words. In your report you should describe what your program does and details of how you have implemented it. Five submissions will be initially selected for presentation at the conference during an interactive session. Entries will be judged both on technical prowess and creativity. One author from each of the selected works will also be invited to attend half a day of the conference for free including lunch (attendance fees waived). The selected entrants will also be invited to download their software onto a real NAO during the conference, with the help of technical support, and conference attendees will have an opportunity to try out the behaviours designed by the competitors and judge how entertaining they are during coffee breaks. Conference attendees will then vote for the most entertaining entry. The best entry selected by the judging panel, and the entry voted as the most entertaining by attendees, will both receive certificates and a Boe Bot Robot Kit from Active Robotics. Whatever your level of experience, this competition is a great way to try out the NAO and its software, and present your work to an international robotics research audience.

Entry is free, and applications should be submitted as a PDF via email to Paul Bremner (paul.bremner@brl.ac.uk) with "NAO Competition Entry" as the subject.

Deadline for applications: Sunday 22 September, 5pm
Shortlist contacted: Friday 4 October

Technical support email addresses:
Support@active-robots.com
jlerebours@aldebaran-robotics.com