DJI Announces Its Third Annual RoboMaster AI Challenge

For the third year in a row, DJI’s RoboMaster division is partnering with the International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) to host a special competition for student engineers. Teams will need to combine skills from mechanical and electrical engineering, embedded systems, computer programming and artificial intelligence to achieve victory. This year’s event will be held in Montreal, Canada from May 20 to 22.

DJI is a world leader in aerial robotics and imaging systems. For the last five years it has put on the RoboMaster competition in Shenzhen, China, where teams of robot rovers battle across an arena and complete technical challenges. RoboMaster supplies basic hardware for those four-wheeled rovers, which fire small plastic pellets at opposing rovers under the direction of student drivers.

ICRA’s RoboMaster challenge asks teams to use the same hardware to build a pair of these rovers. Instead of relying on human operators, however, these rovers must be fully autonomous. These units will need to sense the environment around themselves, navigate an arena, and engage in combat with the opposing team. At the end of the match, the team that has scored the most hits on their opponents will be declared the winner and will receive a grand prize of $20,000 USD. In total there will be $68,000 in prize money at stake. 

Teams purchase hardware from RoboMaster and code their own autonomous systems. After signing up, teams must submit photos, videos, and documentation that track their progress. Teams that demonstrate their ability to design fully functioning and autonomous rover units will qualify for the competition. The approximate cost of required equipment per rover is $4,999, but qualifying teams can purchase them at up to a 50% discount. If teams cannot field two robots, they may choose to compete with just one. Last year 21 teams from China, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, and the United States competed in the ICRA RoboMaster challenge.

Registration opens today and closes January 18, 2019 at 24:00 Beijing time. The RoboMaster organizing committee will provide invitation letters for qualifying teams in order to expedite travel and visa applications to Canada. Qualifying teams will receive a stipend of $1,500 per team, and can bring up to 12 team members. More information and the registration page is available here.

More on RoboMaster’s 2019 schedule of events is available here

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