Australia Leads The Region In Robotics

17:37' 14-09-2017
Australia has once again claimed the title at the 7th Annual National Instruments Autonomous Robotics Competition (NIARC), with Victorias RMIT University winning first place. This is the fourth year in a row the title was won by an Australian university.

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    The University of Wollongong and University of New South Wales took second and third place. Victoria was also represented among the finalists by Flinders University, University of Melbourne, and Swinburne University of Technology. NZ's University of Waikato claimed the title Best Robot Design, by popular vote. A team from one of Singapore’s top universities, the Nanyang Technological University, competed for the first time.

    More than 120 engineering students from universities in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore competed in the competition, the region's biggest robotics showdown. The live finals took place on Tuesday 5 September at a free event at the University of Technology in Sydney in front of hundreds of spectators and a panel of leading industry judges.

    NIARC is a student competition designed to encourage development and innovation in the field of robotics. For this year’s theme, “Transportation Innovation”, the robots had to navigate a “smart city”, respond to changing road rules, avoid obstacles, pick up passengers and return home safely, earning points for speed and efficiency.

    Students have spent the last few months designing and building robots to meet the competition requirements. The participants, ranging from first year university students to PhD candidates, have had access to industry-leading hardware and software by NI.

    “We’re always so impressed with the talent and commitment of the NIARC participants and this year was no exception,” said Ryota Ikeda, Marketing Director, APAC, National Instruments. “The students have proven that they have the capabilities to design and develop the smart transportation solutions of the future.”

    “It was a challenging course and our robot certainly wasn’t the fastest in the competition but it turns out, slow and steady really does win the race,” said Genevieve Houghton of the winning RMIT team. This was the first time many of her team had competed in NIARC.

    RMIT’s win has earned the team a free trip to Austin, Texas where they’ll attend NIWeek, a leading engineering conference attended by thousands of professional engineers and scientists from more than 60 countries. Other finisher prizes included Google Home, Parrot Mini Drones and Google Chromecast.

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