Engineering and mechatronics students from leading universities across Australia and New Zealand are preparing to face off in the international robotics competition organised by National Instruments Aust & NZ .
Their preparations coincided with the visit of Chief Control and Simulation Engineer for National Instruments (NI), Dr Jeannie Falcon, who toured Australia this week.
A lecturer at the University of Texas in Austin for the mechanical engineering and aerospace engineering departments, Falcon said that the competition allowed students to demonstrate their engineering abilities in a fun and interactive environment and hone their skills to become the robot designers of the future.
Over 20 student teams have been tasked with building an autonomous robot for the third annual competition designed to demonstrate their skills on an international platform.
With a theme of ‘Gold Rush’, each robot will navigate an obstacle filled course, and identify, pick up and move objects to designated locations in the shortest possible time.
Each participating team received a development kit featuring an NI Single Board RIO board level reconfigurable control system and NI LabVIEW system design software featuring the LabVIEW Robotics Module.
All teams have successfully passed two of four milestone tasks in the competition under the guidance of academic supervisors and support of NI engineers.
The winner of the NI Autonomous Robotics Competition will receive a cash prize of $3000, with $1500 for the runner-up and a bonus prize of $500 for the best robot design. All teams that successfully complete the competition tasks get to keep the development kit, valued at over $20,000.
The competition final will be held at the Swinburne University of Technology - Hawthorn campus on 24 September.
Universities competing in the competition include:
NSW: University of Newcastle, University of New South Wales, University of Technology Sydney, University of Wollongong, University of Sydney, University of Western Sydney; WA: Curtin University; Queensland: Griffith University, Queensland University of Technology; Northern Territory: Charles Darwin University; Victoria: Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Swinburne University of Technology, La Trobe University; South Australia: University of Adelaide, Flinders University; New Zealand: Manukau Institute of Technology, University of Auckland, Victoria University of Wellington