Real World Robot Challenge 2008 (Video)
Building on the success of the 2007 event, the "Tsukuba Challenge 2008 - Real World Robot Challenge", scheduled for November 20th-21st, is expected to draw 50 top teams. Similar, in some respects, to the DARPA Urban Challenge, the Japanese based competition takes it to the next level by requiring the autonomous mobile robots to operate on populated sidewalks with moving human beings, bicycles, and other hazards without creating any damage, or interfering with foot traffic. Not only do they have to recognize and avoid moving objects (like pedestrians), they are required to yield the right-of-way.
The robots must operate autonomously, and are carefully followed by observers and team members equipped with electronic kill-switches so that they can immediately intervene if any robot unexpectedly goes astray. The maximum speed is limited to 4 km/hr for obvious safety reasons. The robots have to deal with local conditions by themselves, transit the entire course, and recognize that they have reached the goal. External processing, or other assistance is not allowed. For example, the robots can use on-board GPS systems but installing temporary GPS relay stations to boost signals is forbidden.
Here's a video showing a competitor in last year's competition.
There are also video clips showing the 2008 challenge course on Youtube.
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