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Northeastern Team is a Finalist at the IAEA Robotics Challenge

November 27, 2017

COE PhD students Maozhen Wang (MIE) and Peng Chang (ECE) spent their Thanksgiving Vacation in Brisbane, Australia to participate in the International Atomic Energy Agency Robotics Challenge. IAEA Robotics Challenge is aimed at improving the working conditions of IAEA inspectors in making repetitive measurements in areas that can be difficult to access, or with elevated radiation levels. Robot-enabled inspections will also enhance the consistency of the IAEA measurements.

The Northeastern Team advised by ECE Associate Professor Taskin Padir, also included Ruofan Zhang (ECE), Guhan Gopalakrishnan (ECE) and Dr. Xianchao Long. Northeastern’s proposal entitled "Small-UGV for Conducting In-Field Inspections (SCIFI) in Nuclear Environments” was selected as one of the 10 finalists, the only one from the United States, from 27 applications. The finalists came from 9 countries including South Korea, United Kingdom, Switzerland, and Israel. The Northeastern team designed and programmed a small mobile robot platform with a custom design lift mechanism to autonomously perform the following tasks: moving autonomously across a storage area, counting items of a specific geometry, recording their ID tags, and carrying specific IAEA instrument payloads. 

The Northeastern Team’s travel was fully funded by the Brookhaven National Laboratory for participation in the challenge, which was hosted by The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in Brisbane, Australia from November 20-24, 2017. The team will continue to refine their designs and algorithms to improve the reliability and robustness of their system.