Sci & Tech

Robotic Duel Underway

Robotic Duel UnderwayRobotic Duel Underway

The Fifth International Amirkabir Robotics and Artificial Intelligence Competitions (AUTCup 2015) began on Monday in Tehran.

The contests will continue until Wednesday for three main categories, namely robotic, artificial intelligence and Federation of International Robotic Soccer Association, IRNA reported.

Speaking in the opening ceremony, Mohammad Reza Razfar, secretary of the event, highlighted the importance of robotics in the realms of industries, medicine, agriculture, defense, trade and finance.

According to Razfar, the first edition of the robotic competitions was held in 2009 with only seven student leagues, which rose to 22 in the following years. During 2011-13, there were 15 student leagues.

The artificial intelligence competitions were started in 2012 and featured seven and 10 categories during the first and second editions respectively.

 The Teams

A total of 21 school teams and 69 university teams are battling for the crown in this year’s competitions.

The competitions for college students are held in five leagues this year, namely ground and aerial rescue robots, mine detectors, factory robots and services robots.

This is while school students are competing in sections named pathfinders, footballers, androids, transportation robots and innovation.

The artificial intelligence competitions feature technologies used to predict the weather and road conditions, track vehicles and devise global positioning and mapping systems.

Other technologies focus on fraud detection in Persian-language documents and auto translation services from Persian to English, as well as face, voice and aircraft detection.

As for side events, the organizers have lined up a host of educational workshops on robotics, automation and AI.

An exhibition will also be held to present the latest developments and achievements of knowledge-based firms.    

The event has been organized by AUT in collaboration with Iran’s Management and Planning Organization and the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology.  

  Walking Robot Unveiled

In another robotic news, a humanoid robot named “Surena III”, developed by researchers at the University of Tehran, was unveiled during a ceremony attended by Vice President for Science and Technology Sorena Sattari.

The third generation of Iranian humanoid—190 cm tall and weighing 98 kg—enjoys remarkable improvements over its previous model. Surena III has 31 degrees of freedom, nine degrees more than Surena II, while each of its leg has six degrees of freedom, Mehr News Agency reported.

Surena III walks 3 km/h faster than the previous model. It also has the ability to walk on uneven surfaces, in addition to going up and down stairs. Surena III can also turn around within a desired radius.

The Iranian robot is capable of interacting with its surroundings through visual and auditory senses. It can hear and speak, based on a predefined text, some 200 words/sentences in the Persian language.

Surena III can also recognize objects, detecting faces in motion and body positions, apart from operating under remote control.

The national project of humanoid robot has been conducted by the Center for Advanced Systems and Technology at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering of the University of Tehran. In addition to the university’s professors and students, a number of elites from other universities and companies active in the field of robotics also contributed to the project.

According to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Iran is one of five countries with the technology to make humanoid robots. Iran unveiled Surena I and Surena II in 2008 and 2010, respectively.

 Impact on Society

With the growth of Internet of Things and robotic technologies, the participation of Iranian students and engineers in such projects is part of a wider trend of incorporating robots into everyday life.

In addition to research on movable technologies, like Surena III, Iran’s tertiary education sector is increasingly putting funds and research grants behind their students and graduates to keep outstanding talent in the country.

Startup Accelerators such as TrigUp, Dmond and Avatech have increasingly become interested in movable and robotic technologies like the recently funded SmartBeen watering system, which accurately measures watering rates in greenhouses. Robotics and artificial intelligence like these will likely become major areas of growth and Iran’s bright minds are well placed for the future.