Special Issue on Developments and Learning from the World Robot Challenge
Professor, Graduate Schools of Engineering, The University of Tokyo
7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8656, Japan
The World Robot Challenge was organized to stimulate and gather findings in robotics and their applications to three important fields: Industrial Robotics, Service Robotics, and Disaster Robotics, which constituted three categories for the competition. Researchers and professionals from all over the world in the field of robotics were provided a unique opportunity to showcase their work by solving unprecedented problems, on the spot. Computer vision, robust control, navigation, and manipulation are some of the key elements to create robots that could solve the challenges proposed during the competition.
This special issue provides some examples of the work developed and performed in that aim, that could serve for the future of robotics applications in the three designated fields but not only.
The three first papers are the results of the convenience store challenge for Service Robotics. In this challenge, identifying objects and pose estimation of object are crucial for the acquisition of knowledge and robot manipulation, shelfing and logistics, as detailed in the first two papers. Robot’s navigation is also paramount for cleaning and operating in the human environment, such is the topic of the third paper.
The Industrial Robotics challenge focuses on parts pick and place and assembly of complex elements. The fourth and 5th papers of this special issue deal with this topic.
Finally the Disaster Robotics challenge presents the more versatile components as a disaster area may be of multiform and of very complex nature, depending of the nature of the disaster, whether it is indoor or outdoor etc. The last three papers of the special issue deal with such a various nature for plant inspection, for the control of robots in disaster area, or the rescue robot in confined spaces such as tunnels.
We hope this collection of work carefully selected, will provide the reader with insights for the future developments of robots.
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