Robot round-up – Advanced robotics platforms and control solutions


Competition between innovators is the fuel we use to foster the best innovative solutions.

The Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security (IDEaS) Contest, Robot Round-up, calls for Canadian innovators to demonstrate to DND/CAF how advancements in robotic platforms and methods of control can be leveraged to help CAF members accomplish high risk tasks.

What IDEaS Provides

A chance to pitch your innovation to our military experts, putting you in the spotlight. Compete with other subject matter experts for a chance to win cash prizes to further develop your technology.

What Innovators Bring

Solutions that demonstrate their advanced robotic platforms and methods of control to help Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) accomplish high risk tasks.

This Contest challenge is no longer accepting applications. Stay tuned for updates on the upcoming competition.

The Challenge


There are many specialized tasks that are routinely performed by personnel of the CAF both domestically and abroad. These tasks include detection, identification, and mitigation of agents of concern. Stand-off technologies and fixed sensor arrays are techniques that could provide information, but operators may still be required to be in direct contact with hazardous substances, while in various states of protected equipment dress, and in environments that could be hostile. Robotic systems that could operate handheld advanced sensing devices, are highly mobile, able to manipulate the environment, and reduce operator involvement could alter the need to commit military personnel into potentially hazardous situations.


Current field robotic systems in this domain, as well as system of robotic systems, exist with limitations that place the burden on the operator. These robotic systems have capability to move in unstructured terrain both with direct control, as well as with general control, and can be configured with wheels, tracks, articulations, and combinations. Current systems also have advanced manipulation and force feedback to the operator. The robots are equipped with 3D modeling and mapping of the location of the agents of concern. Further, some robotic systems have advanced autonomous functions that have the ability to significantly reduce operator involvement.

DND/CAF are hosting this Contest to observe advancements from the current state of the art in robotics. These could include advancements in mobility, manipulation, sensing, localization of threats, advanced modeling, information synthesis, or by using Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), supervised autonomy, techniques to reduce the operator involvement in the task.


IDEaS has invited the following participants to demonstrate their solutions to DND/CAF stakeholders in the Robot Round-up contest. Stay tuned to find out more!

Robot Round-up contest
Solution Title Innovator Location
PEEPR (Pervasion and Evasion Electronic Perceiver Robot) Indro Robotics Inc. British Columbia
High-Immersion Teleoperated and Autonomous Humanoid Robot Avatars Mirsee Robotics Inc.Ontario
Advanced situation awareness for time-critical missions NorLab/Université de Laval Quebec
Sanctuary AI's General Purpose Robot and Cognitive Platform Sanctuary Cognitive Systems Corporation British Columbia
Uncertainty-aware highly maneuverable robots for high risk operations in complex spaces University of Calgary Alberta
Compusult Nanuk Robotic Control Platform Compusult Limited Newfoundland
and Labrador
Supervised Autonomous Tele-Robotic Navigator (SATRN) Sarcomere Dynamics Inc. Alberta
Haptic robot manipulation with sensitive force and torque control through semi-autonomous manipulation routines University of Alberta Alberta

Desired Outcomes

This Contest is designed to challenge robotics systems in scenarios that reflect the tasks operators could encounter, and these tasks will include both discrete challenges as well as challenges that build to a larger capability.

There are two desired outcomes for this Contest:

  1. Innovators are expected to showcase technological advancements in both discretized and multi-level challenges to accomplish the tasks in the on-site challenge. These methods of control in this category could be more aligned to traditional systems where an operator is fully involved in the outcome of the challenge and demonstrated in the video submission.
  2. In the second category, the focus will be on how little the operator is involved in the challenge. Special considerations for time, precision, and level of success will be provided for systems that have little to no involvement from external sources. Additional considerations could also be provided for how much information has to be preloaded or configured for an individual challenge.

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