Robot round-up – Advanced robotics platforms and control solutions

Contests

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.

The Challenge

Background

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.

Objectives

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.

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.

Eligibility

Eligible recipients for funding under the IDEaS Contests Program must be a legal entity duly incorporated and validly existing in Canada, including:

  • Canadian universities and educational institutions chartered in Canada;
  • incorporated Canadian not-for-profit organizations or associations;
  • incorporated Canadian for-profit companies, organizations or associations; and,
  • provincial/territorial, or municipal government organizations.

Federal and provincial crown corporations are not eligible for funding.

How to Apply

All applicants must submit a Proposal Package in order to be eligible for the Robot Round-up contest. The Proposal Package must include the Applicant Form and the video submission.

DND will assess the Proposal Packages to determine whether they can move forward to the on-site competition and be considered for funding.

  • ineligible solutions will be screened out and applicants will receive a written email response; or,
  • eligible solutions will receive a written email invitation to compete on-site, as well as an on-site instruction manual.

Part 1: Submitting the video

Applicants are required to submit their video using the submission steps below:

  1. Review Annex A – Video instructions.
  2. Create the recording.
  3. Save the video in MP4 format.
  4. Provide the MP4 video to our Drop Box location (you are now leaving the Government of Canada website) by the submission deadline.
  5. Applicants will receive confirmation of the video submission by email.

Part 2: Submitting the Applicant Form

The Applicant Form must be submitted directly to the IDEaS Contests Program through the Canada Post Corporation (CPC) Connect service.

Step 1: Create a Connect account

If the Applicant has an existing Connect account please proceed to Step 2.

To register for an account please contact the CPC Connect service, click on Login to Connect, then select Register now, and complete your Personal Canada Post Profile.

Step 2: Request a Connect conversation and submission

Applicants must send an email requesting a Connect conversation to IDEaSContests.IDEeSConcours@forces.gc.ca and provide the email address associated with the Connect service, at least five business days prior to the submission deadline. The IDEaS Contests Program will initiate the Connect conversation.

The Applicant will then be able to submit the Proposal Package at any time prior to the submission deadline.

The Applicant will receive a confirmation from the IDEaS Contests Program within 1 – 2 business days of receipt.

All Connect conversations must remain open until at least 30 business days after the submission deadline.

Applicant Guide & Applicant Form

The Applicant Guide is your one stop shop for everything you need to know for this Contest:

You can download a PDF copy of the Applicant Guide here, as well as the Applicant Form you will need to complete for your Proposal Package:

Some users report an error message when opening the Applicant form from their browser using Chrome. Internet Explorer does not seem to have this issue. In most cases this can be corrected by downloading the form to your computer (right-click on the link, Save As…) and opening it from your hard drive. If you continue to have problems, please contact us at IDEaSContests.IDEeSConcours@forces.gc.ca and we will email a direct copy of the form to you.

For this Contest, should there be a discrepancy between the web content, the Applicant Form or the Applicant Guide, the Applicant Guide will take precedence.

Deadline

The Robot round-up Contest is now closed to new applications.

Enquiries about the Contest can be sent to: IDEaSContests.IDEeSConcours@forces.gc.ca.

 

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