National Instruments Oceania announces teams for the 2012 NI Autonomous Robotics Competition

National Instruments Oceania has announced the participating teams for the annual National Instruments Autonomous Robotics Competition, a student robotics competition designed to encourage development and innovation in the field of robotics.

A total of 24 teams will be participating in this year’s NI ARC, representing top universities from across Australia and New Zealand.

The competition, which commences in April and concludes in September 2012 will involve each team developing an autonomous robot that will ultimately compete in a live competition with the objective of autonomously completing a set of predefined tasks in the shortest amount of time and earning the most points.

The theme for the 2012 NI ARC is ‘Search and Rescue’.

“The NI Autonomous Robotics Competition is an exciting initiative which provides engineering students with an excellent platform to develop and showcase their technical and creative skills and capabilities” said Matej Krajnc, Managing Director for National Instruments Oceania.

“There were some amazing robot designs in the 2011 competition, and with twice as many teams participating this year we are looking forward to a challenging, competitive and highly enjoyable 2012 Competition”.

The students, working alongside NI engineers, will get the opportunity to showcase their robotics talents in front of a large audience from industry and academia at the live competition on 21 September 2012.

Teams from the following universities and tertiary institutions will be competing in the 2012 competition:

· Auckland University of Technology
· University of Canterbury
· Curtin University of Technology
· Griffith University
· Macquarie University
· Massey University
· University of Newcastle
· Queensland University of Technology
· Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology
· Swinburne University of Technology
· NSW Western Sydney Institute of TAFE – Mt Druitt College
· The University of South Australia
· The University of New South Wales
· University of Auckland
· University of Tasmania
· University of Technology Sydney
· Victoria University of Wellington
· University of Wollongong

Within the theme of ‘Search and Rescue’, the robotics application areas of focus will be navigation, obstacle avoidance, and object handling. Participating teams have each received a development kit featuring an NI CompactRIO embedded acquisition and control system and the NI LabVIEW 2011 Robotics Suite for the development of their autonomous robot. Maxon Motor is a proud sponsor of this event and  has also provided each team with a gift voucher for purchase of Maxon Motors.

The winning team at the live national competition on 21 September 2012 will receive $3,000 cash, and the runners up will be awarded $1,500 courtesy of National Instruments Oceania. There is also a cash prize for the most aesthetically pleasing robot.

Additionally, all teams that successfully complete the tasks in this competition, regardless of their finishing position, will get to keep their development kits valued at over $26,000.

Training, mentoring, and competition objectives will be provided by NI Application Engineers who specialise in robotics applications.

The 2012 NI Autonomous Robotics Competition (NI-ARC) builds upon the inaugural competition held in 2011.

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