Robotics
TechX Challenge
Friday, 06 February 2009 00:15

TechX Challenge 2008

 

Objective
The TechX Challenge is a competition organised by DSTA, Singapore's national authority for defence science and technology.

It aims to inspire and engage the wider community of engineers and technologists, challenging them to defy conventional thinking and stretch the boundary of science and technology for defence and national security.

This is in line with DSTA's overall strategy to develop greater indigenous capacity for innovation in R&D to sharpen the technological edge for Singapore's defence.

Overview
The first TechX Challenge is a race among autonomous robots in an urban setting.

The developers of the autonomous robot that completes all the stipulated tasks most quickly within a specified time will be awarded a prize of S$1 million.

The TechX Challenge includes a review of eligibility, a qualifying round, with the final competition scheduled in August 2008. The layout of the site chosen for the final round of the competition will only be made known very close to or on the day of the finals itself.

Team X-1
Team X-1 comprising a joint team from lecturers and students from the NUS and staff from Institute for Infocomm Research lead by S.S.Ge on being selected as one of the 5 finalists in the TechX Challenge qualifying round.

The TechX Challenge Finals
Six robots from the six finalist teams competed at the inaugural TechX Challenge finals held on Sunday 21 September at the Republic Polytechnic. Each of the robots was required to navigate from an outdoor urban location to an indoor environment, autonomously. Along the way, the robot had to overcome obstacles, negotiate stairs, take an elevator to a designated floor, search and engage designated targets before navigating to the finish point.

A Robotics Showcase was held. The showcase featured how robots had been deployed for defence and national security since the 1970s, and the more recent efforts to develop robots that could perform a wider range of operational roles. Many visitors, particularly the young ones, were also thrilled by being able to operate a real-life robot in an obstacle course.
The TechX Challenge finals and its accompanying Robotics Showcase drew over 1000 visitors.

TechX Challenge succeeded in its aim to inspire and engage the wider community of engineers and technologists for defence and national security, and to promote interest in defence science and technology.

TechX Challenge Results
The six teams assembled as early as 7.00 am to get their robots ready. Many supporters turned up in their team t-shirts and added to the air of excitement and anticipation. The Minister for Defence, Mr Teo Chee Hean flagged off the event with the first robot X-1, followed by Sharp Shooter, xWarrior, TP Robot, and Uni-Seeker. The entry from SP-University of Freiburg withdrew at the last minute.

The TechX Challenge Trophy and $1 million prize were not awarded as the competing robots did not complete all the stipulated tasks.