Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition 2nd Place Finishers
1 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – The University of New South Wales (Sydney, Australia) was selected for the "Rookie of the Year Award" after winning the Advanced Auto-Nav Challenge and Basic Auto-Nav Challenge, finishing 4th in the IOP JAUS Challenge and finishing 2nd overall in the... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition 1st Place Finishers
2 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – The overall IGVC champion was the robotics team from California State University, Northridge. During the competition, they won the IOP JAUS Challenge, and finished 2nd in the Advanced Auto-Nav Challenge and Basic Auto-Nav Challenge, topping the Univ... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

Robotics teams from universities across the nation and around the world, including Japan, Canada and Australia, competed in the 23rd-annual Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition (IGVC) at Oakland University June 5-8, in Rochester, Mich. The competition featured robots designed and constructed by engineering students to perform tasks in four key events: the Auto-Nav Challenge (Advanced and Basic courses), Design Competition and Interoperability Profile (IOP) Joint Architecture Unmanned Systems (JAUS) Challenge.

For the 42 engineering/robotics teams that competed this year, the IGVC offered a unique student design experience that placed this competition at the cutting edge of engineering and robotics education. As a multidisciplinary, theory-based, hands-on, team-implemented, outcome-assessed and product-realization autonomy-enabled event, the student engineers and roboticists brought the very latest technologies that will, ultimately, impact industrial research and development (R&D) and technology integration in both the commercial products sector and government.

The IGVC event's objectives were to challenge engineering students to think creatively as teams about the evolving technologies vital to vehicle electronic controls, sensors, computer science, robotics and system integration throughout the design, fabrication and field testing of autonomous intelligent mobile robots.

The IGVC provided students from 42 U.S. and international teams an outstanding opportunity to apply the skills they learned in the classroom to a live autonomous event that challenged how they adapted their robots to external environmental challenges on-the-fly. The event, founded by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), focuses on using robotic technologies that are being sought in research engineering and commercial industry today.

Summarizing the importance of sensors and electronic controls demonstrated at the IGVC, U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) Ground Vehicle Robotics research scientist Jeremy Gray stated that "Sensors, and the interactive connectivity they provide the user, are a crucial component to providing the most intelligent vehicles capable of performing under diverse environmental conditions anywhere in the world. To get to where the Army needs to be, sensors must provide performance input that can be calculated, analyzed and lead to vehicle actuation in fewer than 60 milliseconds."

Supporting the IGVC, TARDEC engineers and scientists served as mentors, advocates and judges for the annual competition. TARDEC representatives spoke with most of the teams that participated, sharing information about unique engineering and research opportunities at TARDEC, other Michigan organizations and within Department of Defense (DoD) laboratories and engineering centers. The technologies demonstrated during the IGVC will most likely be snapped up by the private sector to contribute to the emerging and burgeoning $1 billion a year industry. In fact, industry analysts predict that robotics will become a $10 billion a year industry over the next decade.

Unquestionably, robotics are key to the United States and DoD's R&D initiatives that address future security and situational awareness challenges and opportunities. During the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, DoD deployed thousands of ground and aerial robots of varying sizes and capabilities to support warfighters in the field. Lessons learned from those robotic deployments and competitions like the IGVC are helping scientists, engineers and technicians at TARDEC and other research facilities adapt emerging technologies into new capabilities for U.S. and allied ground forces.

IGVC Competition Results

1st place - California State University, Northridge

2nd place - University of New South Wales (Sydney, Australia)

3rd place (tied) - Oakland University, Rochester, Michigan

Ecole de Technologie Superieure (Montreal, Canada)

Advanced Auto-Nav Challenge

1. University of New South Wales

Distance: 1032ft

Time: 3:52

2. California State University-Northridge

Distance: 1032ft

Time: 10:00

3. University of Michigan-Dearborn

Distance: 756ft

Time: 6:46

4. United States Naval Academy

Distance: 440ft

Time: 8:55

5. Ecole de Technologie Superieure

Distance: 254ft

Time: 5:59

6. Oakland University

Distance: 244ft

Time: 1:47

7. Lawrence Technological University

Distance: 125ft

Time: 1:19

Basic Auto-Nav Challenge (Top 6)

1. University of New South Wales

Distance: 510ft

Time: 1:27

2. California State University-Northridge

Distance: 510ft

Time: 1:58

3. Oakland University

Distance: 510ft

Time: 2:34

4. University of Michigan-Dearborn

Distance: 510ft

Time: 3:26

5. United States Naval Academy

Distance: 510ft

Time: 3:33

6. Ecole de Technologie Superieure

Distance: 510ft

Time: 4:28

Design Competition (Top 6)

1. Embry Riddle Aeronautical University

2. Oakland University

3. Ecole de Technologie Superieure

4. University of British Columbia

5. Bluefield State College

6. Hosei University

IOP JAUS Challenge (Top 6)

1. California State University-Northridge

2. Lawrence Technological University

3. Trinity College

4. University of New South Wales

5. University of British Columbia

6. Hosei University

Rookie of the Year Award

University of New South Wales