Team NAIST-Panasonic finished 6th in the Amazon Robotics Challenge 2017 (July 30, 2017)

Information Science 2017/08/28

Team NAIST-Panasonic, whose members are from both NAIST and Panasonic, participated as finalists in the international robotic contest "Amazon Robotics Challenge 2017." On July 28th and 29th competitions were held where 8 teams were chosen from the original 16 to proceed to the final competition round on the 30th. Team NAIST-Panasonic was the only team from Japan that proceeded to the finals and was ranked 6th overall.
The Amazon Robotics Challenge is held by Amazon Robotics LLC and this third challenge of 2017 was held in Japan for the first time. The challenge was held at Robocup 2017 Nagoya Japan, July 27th - 30th, and 16 teams from Australia, Germany, India, Israel, Japan, Holland, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan and the US participated. The teams were judged on the performance of their cutting-edge robot hardware and software in the tasks of automated picking and handling.
The contest consists of robots outfitted with elemental technology such as object recognition, attitude control, grasp planning, compliant manipulation, motion planning, task planning, task execution, and error detection/correction. Robot performance is scored based on the number of products each robot successfully handles in certain timeframe.

Member comments on their performance
  • Gustavo Garcia (Team Leader, GSIS Robotics Laboratory, Postdoctoral Fellow)
    On behalf of Team NAIST-Panasonic, I am very happy to announce that we have reached the finals of the Amazon Robotics Challenge (ARC) 2017. We are also proud to have had the honor to represent Japan in one of the most prestigious international robotics competitions, as the only Japanese team that advanced to the final round. Even as newcomers, we went head-to-head with top universities from all over the world, international corporations and veterans of the ARC,as one of 16 contending teams. Our 4th place in the "stow task" allowed us to proceed to the final round in which the best 8 teams performed a combined "pick-and-stow task," where we ranked 6th among the top 8 contenders. We would like to thank Amazon for organizing such a successful event that brought us countless valuable experiences. Moreover, we would like to thank Panasonic for joining us in this amazing adventure, without their excellent contributions and active cooperation we could not have achieved this result. We want to give special thanks to Dr. Albert Causo for his valuable advice who besides being an alumnus of our laboratory was the team leader of the Nanyang team which obtained the third place in the final round. Also, we are very thankful to our friend Dr. Salvo Virga for his support and his excellent open-source framework iiwa_stack. Finally, we would like to sincerely express our deepest gratitude to Professor Ogasawara, Associate Professor Takamatsu and Assistant Professor Ding who are constantly guiding and supporting us.
  • Masaki Yamamoto (Panasonic Corporation)
    I am very proud that we were able to finish as the top team from Japan, even with this being our first attempt in the Amazon Robotics Challenge. I was deeply impressed by the competitiveness, producing our highest scores in the actual competition, and the collaborative team's unified drive and spirit which kept us going.
    The team's diversity, with members from 6 different countries and from both industry and academia, gave me a feeling of the future development of technology.
Final Round Results
Place Team Institution/organization Stow score Pick score Final score
1 ACRV Queensland University of Technology (Australia) 55 150 272
2 NimbRo Picking Universität Bonn (Germany) 20 245 235
3 Nanyang Nanyang Technological University (Singapore) 125 257 225
4 IITK-TCS Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur,
Tata Consultancy Services (India)
105 160 170
5 MIT-Princeton Massachusetts Institute of Technology,
Princeton University (U.S.A)
160 125 115
6 NAIST-Panasonic NAIST, Panasonic (Japan) 110 80 90
7 IFL PiRo Karlsruhe Institute of Technology,
Helmut-Schmidt-Universität (Germany)
25 130 30
8 Applied Robotics Smart Robotics, University of Sydney (Australia) 5 140 20
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