The 2002 Robot Host Contest

AAAI 2002 Mobile Robot Contest and Exhibition
July 29 - August 1, 2002, Edmonton, Alberta

Robot Host Contest Chairs: David Gustafson and Francois Michaud

Mission

The robot host competition is intended to give robotic teams (including undergraduate teams) an opportunity to demonstrate the usefulness of robots in a conference setting.

Robot Host

The objective of this contest is to create service robots that can offer dessert to attendees at a reception and can provide information about the conference schedule to attendees during conference breaks.

 

There will be two separate tasks: a dessert server and a mobile information server.  It is expected that each team will compete in both tasks.  The final standings will be based on the points earned in each task.

 

Registered Participants & Schedule

The list of currently registered will be here. The schedule will be here.

Registering

If think you would like to participate (even if you are not certain), please register your interest. Participants who register early will be given the greatest consideration with regards to equipment and funding, but we will do our best to accommodate late submissions as well.

Checklist:

Written summaries

To ensure that the research aspects of your exhibit are clearly understood, each entrant is strongly encouraged to submit a two page abstract summarizing your approach.

You will have an opportunity to present your work at a workshop on Thursday, August 1, and write a longer paper by 1 September for publication in the workshop proceedings.

More detail on Robot Host

There will be two separate tasks: a dessert server and a mobile information server.  It is expected that each team will compete in both tasks.  The final standings will be based on the points earned in each task.

 

Dessert Server

 

During the reception, the entries will be serving dessert.  The goal is to perform the serving task as efficiently as possible.  It is expected that each entry will make an effort to circulate throughout the reception area offering the desserts to as many individuals as possible.  It is expected that the server will sense when the desserts are gone and will return to the serving station for a refill.

 

Unlike previous years, there will be no specific points for interaction with individuals.  The grading will be based on effectiveness of serving desserts.

 

 

Mobile Information Server

 

The mobile information server will be stationed in the break areas of the exhibit hall and will provide information about the talks and sessions at the conference.  The server will greet individuals and offer the information services.  The individual’s request may be entered via keyboard or by voice.  Computer responses are expected to be spoken and visually displayed. The user interface is expected to be user-friendly. 

 

The information will be provided in electronic form at the conference.  The format will be posted at least 2 weeks before the conference.  Last year’s format can be found on the aaai2001 conference site.

 

Extra points will be given for highlighting the changes to the schedule.

 

Effectiveness in providing the information services is the main criteria for evaluation.

 

General Information

Robots are allowed to touch attendees. Specifically, in their attempt to serve food, a robot may "nudge" a person in order to get through a crowd and serve food to other groups of people. Preference is given to robots that can accomplish this without touching, but it is better to nudge people than to stay stranded in a single spot. Note that hurting people by making hard or continued contact, or rolling over toes will be heavily penalized (and the robots may be banned from further competition). Consider this to be along the lines of Asimov's Rules of Robotics

Identifying markers may be used if the markers are unobtrusive

Competition Rounds

Each competition will be divided into two events. All contestants must first compete in the qualification/safety event and if deemed safe can then compete in the judged event.

 

Qualification/Safety Event

The first round, which is mandatory, will be a qualification/safety round. In this round, each robot will be evaluated in four areas:

Reception Event

The environment will not be engineered for the event. Do not assume the floor is flat. You can assume that cabling might lay on the floor, or that the robot might need to pass over bare floor to carpeted areas. Furniture and other structures will be natural and may not be marked or altered for the sake of the robots. The crowd will not be limited.  The food to be served will be provided by AAAI/conference services.

 Robots will have a serving tray (please provide your own tray). It is expected that the robot, in addition to detecting the need for more food, will navigate to the teams "refill" location. The refill area may be marked by the team with a sign or special mark. We would favor robots that found its refill station via visual recognition of a marker than via dead reckoning. Markers that are more *natural* are better then markers that are completely artificial.

Mobile Information Server

The environment will not be engineered for the event; the normal break area will be used. Do not assume the floor is flat. You can assume that the robot might need to pass over bare floor to carpeted areas. Furniture and other structures will be natural and may not be marked or altered for the sake of the robots. The crowd will not be limited.  

Scoring

The robots will be evaluated by a panel of judges. A subjective score between 1 and 10 will be determined by each judge. These scores will be averaged to produce a final score. The contestants will be evaluated on overall success as well as on any particular abilities they incorporate into their solutions. These abilities include the following which are roughly ordered from minimum requirements to special credit:

Place awards for technical merit will be based on the judges' scores from the Qualification/Safety Round and from the performance in the reception event.

For More Information

... please contact us at dag@cis.ksu.edu or francois.michaud@gel.usherb.ca