U-M Team Qualifies to Compete in MAGIC 2010 Robot Challenge   Bookmark and Share

A team of over 20 students, led by Assistant Professor Edwin Olson, is busy designing, building, and programming robots for use in the Multi Autonomous Ground-Robotic International Challenge (MAGIC) 2010 competition. Prof. Olson's technical proposal for the competiton was recently accepted, placing the U-M on a short list of 12 teams worldwide that will compete.

The MAGIC Challenge requires competitiors to develop multi-vehicle robotic teams that can execute an intelligence, suveillance, and reconnaissance mission in an unknown indoor/outdoor environment with little or no human supervision. The robots will need to dynamically coordinate to carry out tasks based on changing priorities. For these reasons, the challenge provides an excellent focus for new research into machine perception, autonomy, and learning - key areas of inquiry that Prof. Olson's APRIL Laboratory is centered on. The U-M team will also leverage support from Soar Technology, the cognitive science company founded from research conducted by Prof. John Laird.

MAGIC is jointly sponsored by the Australian and US Departments of Defence to attract innovative proposals from worldwide research organisations to develop next-generation fully autonomous ground vehicle systems that can be deployed effectively in military operations and civilian emergency situations. The final stage of competition will take place in November, 2010 at an undisclosed location in South Australia.

The U-M team has qualified for competition funding through the Challenge and is also open to corporate sponsorship.

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