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International Robotics teams to compete in Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition

Monday, June 2, 2014
International Robotics teams to compete in Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition
Robotics teams from universities around the world will compete in the 22nd annual Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition (IGVC) at Oakland University June 6-9.

Free and open to the public, the IGVC event features robots designed and constructed by engineering students that perform tasks in four key events: 
  • Autonomous Challenge
  • Design Challenge
  • GPS Navigation Challenge 
  • Joint Architecture Unmanned Systems Challenge.
IGVC challenges teams to build and operate autonomous robotic vehicles on an outdoor course with defined lanes, GPS waypoints and obstacles. The four-day competition is held annually on Oakland’s campus.
The Oakland Robotics Association (ORA) won the top prize at last year’s competition, bringing the Lescoe Cup home for the first time in university history.

 More than $45,000 in prize money is at stake in this year’s competition, which features 50 teams from across the U.S. and Canada, India, Japan and Jordan.

 KaC Cheok, Ph.D., OU professor of engineering co-founded the IGVC with the U.S. Army in 1993. Since then, the competition has continually added more teams and integrated emerging technologies in the field.

“Technologies such as cameras, GPS, lidar (laser ranging device), computers, electric drives, motors and mobile platforms have made tremendous advances in the short 20 years. They are high performance, compact and affordable,” Dr. Cheok explained. “The IGVC provides a stage for students to integrate these technologies and methodologies with their programs and showcase an autonomous mobile robot capable of overcoming obstacles and challenges to arrive at a destination under its own accord. These exercises and training have a direct bearing to future smart cars that will mitigate accidents and save lives.”

The Oakland Robotics Association (ORA) won the top prize at last year’s competition, bringing the Lescoe Cup home for the first time in university history. This year’s team hopes to build on that success with its 2014 robot, Mantis. The team has 23 members, ranging from freshmen to doctoral students, who have invested hundreds of hours in developing this year’s robot.

 “We started working mid-October, ran through a couple different prototypes and eventually came up with the design that will be used in the competition,” said ORA President Mike Truitt, a master’s student studying mechatronics. “We plan to do even better than we did last year. We had some room for improvement in the mechanical design and software implementation, so once we implement our solutions to these problems, we hope to win the competition again.”

Along with Oakland University, sponsors of the competition include Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) Foundation, AUVSI -Great Lakes Chapter, U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC), U.S. Army Robotic Systems Joint Project Office, U.S. Department of Defense Joint Ground Robotics Enterprise, National Defense Industrial Association-Michigan chapter, Lockheed Martin, Magna International Inc., Continental Automotive, Valeo, Molex, Takata and MathWorks.

 To learn more about the IGVC, visit the website at oakland.edu/igvc. For more information about programs and events in OU’s School of Engineering and Computer Science, visit oakland.edu/secs. For more on the Oakland Robotics Association, visit oaklandrobotics.wordpress.com.