euRathlon is a new outdoor robotics competition which invites teams to test the intelligence and autonomy of their robots in realistic mock emergency-response scenarios.
Inspired by the 2011 Fukushima accident, the euRathlon competition requires a team of land, underwater and flying robots to work together to survey the scene, collect environmental data, and identify critical hazards. Leading up to this ‘grand challenge’ in 2015, there were directly related land and underwater robot competitions in 2013 and 2014, respectively. The first competition, euRathlon 2013, took place between 23-27 September in Berchtesgaden, Germany. The second competition, euRathlon 2014, was held in La Spezia, Italy, from the 29 September – 3 October 2014. The final competition, euRathlon 2015 Grand Challenge, was held in Piombino, Italy, from the 17-25 September 2015. The euRathlon competitions are supported by annual workshops for competitors. In parallel, there is an open process of developing benchmarks to allow comparison of different robots in the euRathlon competitions.
Linked public engagement activities connect euRathlon with robotics research, industry and emergency services, as well as the general public. Attendance of spectators is welcomed, and we hope that euRathlon events will attract considerable press and media attention. By targeting a specific and urgent need – intelligent robots for disaster-response – euRathlon provides European robotics with a platform for challenging, extending and showcasing European cognitive robotics technologies.
The euRathlon consortium has been awarded funding, to create and run the competitions and workshops, by the European Commission under its Seventh Framework Programme for Research (FP7), grant agreement n° 601205.
The euRathlon project is led by Professor Alan Winfield, of the University of the West of England, Bristol,and includes seven partner organisations:
• Centre for Advanced Aerospace Technologies (CATEC) (Spain)
• Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation (CMRE) (Italy)
• Fraunhofer Insitute for Communication, Information Processing and Ergonomics FKIE (Germany)
• Heriot-Watt University (UK)
• Oceanic Platform of the Canary Islands (PLOCAN) / University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (ULPGC) (Spain)
• University of Oulu (Finland)
• University of the West of England, Bristol (UWE) (UK)