In February 2012, Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences (BRSU), together with the Baumann State Technical University (MSTU Baumann) in Moscow, and the Moscow Polytechnic Museum, is organizing the first ever robotic games. Qualifying rounds are taking place in St. Petersburg, Ufa, Moscow, Tomsk and St. Augustin. The games’ semi-finals and finals will take place at the Moscow Polytechnic Museum.
The roboticists in the department of computer science at Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University are organizing the tournament within the framework of the “German-Russian Robotics Initiative”, a project sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Research (BMBF), and taking place as part of the “German-Russian Year of Education, Research and Innovation”.
The Robotic Games targets both bachelor students, and freshmen in masters programs in the fields of computer science, robotics and mechanical engineering. They will program small robotic systems with tasks that are typical for service robots.
In combination with this activity for students, the general audience will have the opportunity to see two brand new full-fledged industrial robots. The first robot is ‘Jenny’: the service robot of the b-it-bots team at BRSU which has been participating in the RoboCup world championships for numerous years and which has consistently taken one of the top three podium spots. Jenny can listen to and talk to people, carry out commands like recognizing and gasping objects, and also learn and identify new people. The second robot which will provide demonstrations is the educational platform called youBot which is built by KUKA.
The final event is a presentation by Prof. Dr. Paul Plöger with a title adapted from a Woody Allen movie: “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Service Robotics, But Were Afraid to Ask”.
For the organizing team from St. Augustin these games pose a logistical challenge as the university is providing all the Robotic Games team equipment, as well as bringing the youBot and of course the experienced champion service robot: Jenny, a Care-O-bot 3 robot that is built by Fraunhofer IPA.
MSTU Baumann is one of the oldest and very prestigious technical universities in Russia and also ranks, in comparison with Germany, in the top league. The other Institutions participating with their teams in the robotic games are the MSTU-MIREA in Moscow, Ufa State Aviation, the University of Tomsk, the RTC St. Petersburg, and of course the BRSU b-it-bots team. The winners of the final will be invited to the partner country for a week-long lab stay or the participation in a relevant tournament such as the RoboCup German Open which takes place this March in the city of Magdeburg.
Finally, on May 24, 2012, BRSU will hold an all-day German / Russian symposium on robotics at the world leading robotics industry fair: Automatica in Munich.