The 2018 “Dream Angel Cup” International Aerial Robotics Competition (Asia-Pacific Venue) was held successfully in Beihang University from Aug 25 to 27.
After technology demonstrations in Aug 25, 134 competitorsfrom 13 teams, as well as judges and guests from the Asian-Pacific region, participated in the opening ceremony in the gymnasium of Beihang University. Prof. Zhang Ju’en, executive director of CSAA, Prof. Robert C. Michelson from the Georgia Institute of Technology, the initiator of the competition and Yang Fangchun, vice director of CAAI, delivered their speeches respectively. After the ceremony, a wonderful UAV swarming and formation flight was performed.
The 2018 competition is the fifth competition of Mission 7, which will end the competition of Mission 7 and open the competition of Mission 8. Competitors from both American and Asia Pacific division failed to solve Mission 7 (“Air Shepherd Dog Action”) in the past four years due to its difficulty. According to the rule, the aerial robots were “shepherd dogs”. The ten ground robots programmed to move randomly were “sheep” and four obstacles circled within the arena and caused collisions with the ground robots were “wolves”. To complete the phase one of Mission 7, or the Mission 7a, the aerial robots (shepherd dogs) were required to herd 4 ground robots (sheep) out of the green line (sheepfold) by touching them on top or blocking their forward motion. Compared with last year, competitors made considerable progress in various aspects this year and the team from Zhejiang University successfully herded three “sheep” out of the “sheepfold”.
Some excellent teams made historic breakthrough in the fierce competition this year. Zhejiang University became the champion of Mission 7 in the 2018 competition and won a prize of $20,000. Xiamen University and Harbin Institute of Technology won the second prize ($6,000) and the third prize ($4,000) respectively.
Mission 8 was co-designed by the scholars from America and Asia-Pacific divisions of the contest. Compared with Mission 7, Mission 8 was more interesting and difficult, highlighting artificial intelligence and automative control more. The 2018 competition was the first competition of Mission 8. Mission 8 included non-electronic human-machine interaction for the first time, with four aerial robots assisting humans to complete tasks that one person cannot independently accomplish. It reflected another progress made in the intelligent technology of unmanned system. The competition won cheers and applause from audiences who were fascinated by artificial intelligence from time to time.
The Yuyuan-Y team from Beihang University, which got the highest score in Mission 8, won the Best Human-Machine Interaction Prize with 5,000 RMB. The HITCSC team from Harbin Institute of Technology won the Best Technology Prize with 2,000 RMB and the team from Indian Institute of Technology Bombay won the Best Performance Prize.
The competition was sponsored by Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) Chinese Society of Aeronautics & Astronautics (CSAA), Chinese Association for Artificial Intelligence (CAAI), Chinese Association of Automation (CAA), Beihang University and Chinese Society of Aeronautics Education. Prizes were offered by AUVSI.
The International Air Robot Competition, founded in 1991, is held once a year. It is promoted by Prof. Robert from the Georgia Institute of Technology and funded by AUVSI. The IARC has a history of 27 years and has moved aerial robotics forward from automatic control to autonomous control through eight missions.
Since the birth of the competition, seven missions have been completed by competitors from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, Carnegie Mellon University, Technical University of Berlin, Tsinghua University, Zhejiang University and so on. The competition integrates research with practice in the design, navigation and control of unmanned vehicle, developing competitors’ teamwork spirit and innovation ability. It has become an influential technical innovation competition for undergraduates and graduates from universities at home and abroad.
Reported by Tang Renlin and An Kexin
Edited by Song Chao
Translated by Xiong Ting