The European Robotics Week #ERW2017: activities at Politecnico di Milano

Milan, 4 December 2017 – Success in terms of public and results for the activities organised at Politecnico di Milano for the European Robotics Week 2017!

Throughout the week, the University has hosted one of the tournaments of the European Robotics League (ERL), the competition that aims to measure scientifically the skills of an autonomous Robot. To measure, in other words, how skilful and precise it is in performing a given task, be it simple or complex: how intelligent it is!

The competition eventually culminated on Saturday 25 November with Robotics@Polimi, the “open labs” event of Politecnico di Milano’s robotics labs that, having reached its seventh edition, witnessed this year the participation of more than 400 citizens from all age groups.

During the day, the public was able to appreciate the ability of the autonomous Robots designed by two German Teams that took part in the ERL tournament: AutonOHM, from Technische Hochschule Nürnberg Georg Simon Ohm and b-it-bots, from Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences (BRSU).

For the ERL tournament each Robot, inside a special arena set up at the AIRLab (Artificial Intelligence and Robotics Lab) of Politecnico di Milano, was called upon to execute three benchmarks:

  • Navigation. It measures the Robot’s ability to move through the arena to reach a set of assigned locations quickly and precisely, but also safely: i.e.,  avoiding collisions.
  • Manipulation. This benchmark concerns another key skill of a Robot: manipulating objects. The Robot is presented with several different objects, each of which must be correctly identified, grasped and lifted.
  • Fill A Box With Parts. Simulation of a complex task: that of “robotic assistant”. The Robot receives a list of pieces needed for assembling a product: it has to locate them, pick them up and transport them to destination.

Robotics has been one of Politecnico di Milano’s research lines since 1973. The multi-disciplinary activity in this field is mainly carried out by the Department of Electronics, Information and Bioengineering and by the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Every year, for Robotics@Polimi, some of Politecnico’s robotics labs open their doors to enthusiasts and curious onlookers. For them, the inclusion of a demo of the European Robotics League in this year’s edition of the event has been a special treat.

The activities of the ERL are part of the Horizon 2020 project RockEU2, of which Politecnico di Milano is one of the partners. The objective of this project is to promote the development and visibility of robotics in Europe, with initiatives such as the ERL taking special importance. This year’s Robotics@Polimi event offered the possibility for ERL to reach a wider than usual audience.