The DARwIn-OP Humanoid Application Challenge took place at ICRA 2012 in Minnesota this month. The goal of the challenge was to promote innovative, open-source projects in the DARwIn-OP community. More than 13,000 students participated but only nine teams made it to the finals. Projects were judged by Professor Dennis Hong (Virginia Tech), Professor Daniel Lee (University of Pennsylvania), and peer review among the finalists.
The winning team hails from The University of Manitoba’s Autonomous Agents Laboratory, who’s hockey-playing DARwIn-OP (nicknamed Jennifer) was able to “skate” on ice and rollerblades and shoot a puck with a pint-sized hockey stick. As might be expected, the project quickly made headlines and appeared in broadcast news segments across Canada earlier this year.
Another fun project came courtesy of a team from Drexel University’s Autonomous Systems Lab, who programmed the robot to drive a Roomba using a simplified steering column, acceleration, and brakes. The robot’s vision system was able to track a black line, which informed it when to turn left and right.