Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Team Delft finalist in the Amazon Picking Challenge 2016

We, Team Delft, are proud to be one of the 16 finalist teams for the Amazon Picking Challenge 2016 [video]. The challenge has two competitions: one for picking products from an Amazon Kiva shelf to fill in a tote, and the other one consisting of the reverse task of picking products from a tote to stow them in a shelf.

These tasks are representative of the current challenges that warehouse automation faces nowadays. The unstructured environment and the diversity of products require new robotic solutions. Smart mechanical designs and advanced artificial intelligence techniques need to be combined to address the challenges in object recognition, grasping, dexterous manipulation, and motion planning. The goal of Amazon Picking challenge is to promote innovative and open solutions for automation in unstructured warehouse environments. It aims at fostering research and collaboration between industry and academia.

Our team is formed by robotics researchers from the TU Delft Robotics Institute, and robotic engineers from the startup Delft Robotics. We are really excited about the challenge, to demonstrate how robotic technologies can solve the present automation challenges in industry.
Team Delft
Since qualifying, we at Team Delft have been developing an industrial grade robotic system for the challenge. It involves a 7 degree-of-freedom Motoman robot mounted on a rail, courtesy of Yaskawa (sponsor). Ensenso cameras from sponsor Imagining Development Systems will feed high quality 3D images to our vision pipeline for object recognition and localization using Deep Learning techniques. The team is fully committed to ROS-Industrial, an initiative TU Delft is leading with Fraunhofer IPA in Europe to promote the use of reusable and reliable open source software for advanced robot functionalities. Components for motion planning, robot control, grasping, and PointCloud processing are being integrated into a fault-tolerant control architecture for Team Delft's robot.

Team Delft is supported by the Factory-in-a-day EU project who is fostering flexible and smart robotic solutions for manufacturing and RoboValley, a unique network consisting of researchers, industry and government agencies who are working on the next generation robotics. 

The new flexible and reusable robotic solutions that we are developing will reduce costs, improve quality and increase productivity. Robotic technologies will also shift human labor from dull and physically demanding tasks to more creative activities, creating new jobs around robots as they were created before around computers or mobile phones. The Amazon Picking Challenge will be held in conjunction with RoboCup 2016 in Leipzig, Germany from June 30 to July 3, 2016.

Follow us at: @teamdelft_apc

For more information about the Amazon Picking Challenge, please visit http://amazonpickingchallenge.org/