The Duckietown Foundation announces the AI Driving Olympics (AI-DO), a self-driving car competition to debut at NIPS 2018

The Duckietown Foundation is excited to announce the The AI Driving Olympics, a new competition focused around AI for self-driving cars. The first edition of the AI Driving Olympics 2018 will take place December 7, 2018, at Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), the premiere machine learning conference, in Montréal. This is the first competition with real robots that will take place at a machine learning conference.

The competition will use the Duckietown platform, a miniature self-driving car platform used for autonomy education and research. The Duckietown project originated at MIT in 2016 and is now used by many institutions worldwide.

The AI Driving Olympics is presented in collaboration with 6 academic institutions: ETH Zürich (Switzerland), Université de Montréal (Canada), National Chiao Tung University (Taiwan), Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago (USA), Tsinghua University (China) and Georgia Tech (USA), as well as two industry co-organizers: nuTonomy (a self-driving car company) and Amazon Web Services (AWS).

About the competition: The competition comprises 4 challenges of increasing complexity: 1) Road following on an empty road; 2) Road following with obstacles; 3) Point to point navigation in a city network with other vehicles; and 4) Fleet planning for a full autonomous mobility on demand system.

Competitors will have access to a suite of professional development tools (simulators, logs, baseline implementations). Real environments called “Robotariums” will be remotely accessible for evaluation. The highest scoring entries in the robotariums will be run during the live event at NIPS 2018 to determine the overall winners.

Scientific goals: The competition aims at directing academic research towards the hard problems of embodied AI, such as modularity of learning processes, and learning in simulation while deploying in reality.  

Social goals: The competition also promotes the democratization of AI and robotics research by using an inexpensive platform, and offering a common infrastructure available through the use of remote testing facilities. Competitors can also build or acquire their own testing facility (Duckiebots and a Duckietowns), through either open-source DIY instructions, or as rewards obtained in our kickstarter campaign (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/163162211/duckietown-a-playful-road-to-learning-robotics-and?ref=dwrnb2)

 

International MOONBOTS Competition Launches, Challenging Next Generation of Space Explorers

LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today, Google Lunar XPRIZE announced the final MOONBOTS Challenge, an international competition that inspires the next generation of space explorers and innovators and is also known as the “Google Lunar XPRIZE for Kids.” The MOONBOTS Challenge, which invites kids ages 8 to 17 to create a video of what they would leave behind on the Moon as a legacy and design and program their own lunar rover, will for the first time provide an opportunity for finalists to send personalized video messages to the Moon, as part of the Google Lunar XPRIZE teams’ missions.

The MOONBOTS Challenge is inspired by the $30M Google Lunar XPRIZE, a global incentivized competition that was launched to challenge and inspire engineers and entrepreneurs from around the world to develop low-cost methods of robotic space exploration and ignite a new era of space exploration. The Google Lunar XPRIZE is in its final phase with five privately funded teams preparing to initiate their launch to the Moon by December 31, 2017. The sixth and final MOONBOTS Challenge will also provide an opportunity for one grand prize winner to go on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to meet with a finalist Google Lunar XPRIZE team.

“As we embark on the final leg of the MOONBOTS Challenge, the next generation of space travelers will get an opportunity to tell us what is most important to them, and actually leave that legacy behind on the Moon,” said Chanda Gonzales-Mowrer, senior director, Google Lunar XPRIZE. “We really want to get kids excited about space exploration and the associated STEM disciplines, and we welcome newcomers from all countries and communities to join the competition and help inspire kids all over the world.”

In order to enter the competition, teams, comprised of two to four members and one team captain that is 18+ years old, are asked to submit a two-minute video about what they would leave behind on the Moon as a legacy. Registration for the MOONBOTS Challenge is officially open through March 15, 2017 and there is no charge to enter.

A panel of judges from the International Space University will select 12 teams by April 2017 to qualify and those teams will be provided one of three robotics platforms (LEGO® MINDSTORMS® EV3, VEX IQ, MECCANO™ Meccanoid 2.0) to build and program a unique simulated robotic mission, based on the legacy in the video they submitted. Additionally, they are asked to provide a demonstration to the judges via live webcast and contribute to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education by sharing their innovation with children and adults in their community. The announcement of the grand prize winner will be made in July 2017.

Since 2010, MOONBOTS has had hundreds of teams sign-up and has challenged thousands of young people from all around the world. In addition to the Google Lunar XPRIZE, competition partners include FIRST® LEGO® League, VEX Robotics Inc., LEGO Education, Parentesis.com, MECCANO™, GeekDad, GeekMom, Robomatter, Inc. and Dexter Industries.

More information about the competition can be found at moonbots.org.

About the Google Lunar XPRIZE

The $30M Google Lunar XPRIZE is an unprecedented competition to challenge and inspire engineers and entrepreneurs from around the world to develop low-cost methods of robotic space exploration. To win the Google Lunar XPRIZE, a privately funded team must successfully place a robot on the Moon’s surface that explores at least 500 meters and transmits high-definition video and images back to Earth. Visit http://lunar.xprize.org/ or @GLXP for more information.

About XPRIZE

XPRIZE, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is the global leader in designing and implementing innovative competition models to solve the world’s grandest challenges. Active competitions include the $30M Google Lunar XPRIZE, the $20M NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE, the $15M Global Learning XPRIZE, the $10M Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE, the $7M Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE, the $7M Barbara Bush Foundation Adult Literacy XPRIZE, the $5M IBM Watson AI XPRIZE, the $1.75M Water Abundance XPRIZE and the $1M Anu & Naveen Jain Women’s Safety XPRIZE. For more information, visit http://www.xprize.org/.

Fort Lauderdale team wins XPRIZE and Google’s STEM-based competition for kids, “MOONBOTS”

Twin Girls, 9, Will Travel to Japan to Meet Google Lunar XPRIZE Teams

LOS ANGELES (September 24, 2015) – XPRIZE, the global leader in incentivized prize competitions, and Google today announced Linked Lunas, 9-year-old twin girls from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is a grand prize winner in the 2015 MOONBOTS Challenge, also considered the “Google Lunar XPRIZE for Kids.” MOONBOTS is an international competition that encourages the next generation of space explorers and innovators by inviting kids ages 8-17 to design, create and program their own lunar rover, based on a legend or theory that inspires them about the moon.

Linked Lunas is comprised of twin sisters Hadley and Delaney Robertson and their team captain and mom, Shannon Robertson. The team bested 235 teams from 29 countries that entered competition in April. Next month, they will embark upon a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Japan to meet the official teams competing for a $30M Google Lunar XPRIZE, a global competition to land a privately funded robot on the moon.

Their entry was based on a historical tale and scientific theory that hits close to home for them – that the earth once had “twin” moons that collided and merged into one. The sisters used this tale as inspiration to build and program a one-of-a-kind simulated lunar mission using the MECCANO Meccanoid G15 KS robotic platform and demonstrated its capabilities during a live webcast with the judges.

“Team Linked Lunas showed ingenuity and innovation in their robotic building and programming, and were creative and imaginative in the way they interpreted their moon ‘tale,’” said Chanda Gonzales, senior director, Google Lunar XPRIZE. “Hadley and Delaney were incredibly engaging, and their mission will provide inspiration for kids all over the world.”

In addition to developing their lunar rover, the sisters contributed to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education by sharing their innovation with children at the School is Cool initiative – a partnership between the Community Foundation of Broward and the Fort Lauderdale Museum of Discovery & Science to provide underserved and at risk 6th and 7th grade Broward county students with a comprehensive after school program.

The kids’ competition attracted 235 teams from 29 countries, who entered phase one by submitting a written or video entry about what inspires them about the moon. Teams are comprised of 2-4 members (ages 8-17) and one team captain at least 18 years old. A panel of judges selected 30 teams to qualify for phase two, each of which was provided one of three platform systems (LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3, VEX IQ, MECCANO Meccanoid G15 KS) to build and program a unique simulated robotic mission based on the moon tale they submitted in phase one. In addition, they were asked to contribute to STEM education by sharing their innovation with children and adults in their community.

Along with Team Linked Lunas, other grand prize winners are: Mecaliks of Cuautitlan Izcalli, Mexico; Team GalacTECHs of Tustin, Calif.; and Moonshot of Brooklyn, N.Y. and Naples, Italy.

Since 2010, MOONBOTS has challenged thousands of young people from around the world. In addition to XPRIZE and Google, competition partners include FIRST® LEGO® League, Cogmation Robotics, VEX Robotics Inc., Spin-Master Ltd., the Robotics Education and Competition Foundation (RECF), GeekDad, GeekMom, Robomatter Incorporated and Dexter Industries. More information, including the full list of finalists, can be found at moonbots.org.

 

About the Google Lunar XPRIZE 

The $30M Google Lunar XPRIZE is an unprecedented competition to challenge and inspire engineers and entrepreneurs from around the world to develop low-cost methods of robotic space exploration. To win the Google Lunar XPRIZE, a privately funded team must successfully place a robot on the moon’s surface that explores at least 500 meters and transmits high-definition video and images back to Earth. For more information, visit lunar.xprize.org/.

 

About XPRIZE 
Founded in 1995, XPRIZE is the leading organization solving the world’s Grand Challenges by creating and managing large-scale, high-profile, incentivized prizes in five areas: Learning; Exploration; Energy & Environment; Global Development; and Life Sciences.  Active prizes include the $30M Google Lunar XPRIZE, the $15M Global Learning XPRIZE, $10M Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE, and the $7M Adult Literacy XPRIZE. For more information, visit xprize.org.