The development of mobile manipulators increases significantly, and the first real-life installations already exist, specifically in the manufacturing industry. However, the real-world environment constraint cannot be sufficiently solved in many cases, limiting these systems’ utility. Thus, although manufacturers see opportunities in these systems, many possible use cases from manufacturing practice are still not easily feasible.
Industrial Mobile Manipulator Challenge (IMMC) is an international initiative, aiming to promote mobile manipulation technology and make progress in the field of human-machine co-working in manufacturing. It invites people to develop the skills in a form of competition. Participants of the challenge are provided with real manufacturing challenges, common in present industry. Taking part in this competition, using and gaining new specific skills and sharing the know-how, every participant becomes part of the community, which makes a positive influence to the development of mobile manipulator practice.
The competition is open and designed for people, having more or less experience and interest in robotics, with a rough age range of 16–35 years: entrepreneurs, representatives of industry, already working in the related environment, or academia, students of all levels and researchers, all aiming to gain valuable skills in robotics and transfer this knowledge into the different European industries.
IMMC2022 is incorporated in the international conference and competition IROS2022, which will take place on 23-27 October, 2022, virtually online and physically in Kyoto, Japan.
Participants, enrolled in the IMMC competition, will have to develop and / or improve a mobile manipulator to solve relevant problems from different domains and adapt them to tackle unpredicted challenges. In particular, various domains, such as manufacturing, agriculture, construction, food, health care, logistics, utility, etc., often face similar problems. Hence, the competition will be organised annually and each year will target a different domain with meta-challenges.
Participants are allowed to register in teams, which can consist of high school students, university students, and other interested hobbyists. The teams will be assisted by academic lecturers, industrial researchers and professionals, and will also be provided with digital learning paths on the skills.move platform.
In preparation for the IMMC, each team will develop and / or adapt a multi-purpose mobile manipulator capable of performing common meta-tasks out of a specific domain. At the IMMC, each team can test these developments and improve them before the evaluation run. The success is evaluated for each task and determined by weighing the individual results.
The next IMMC is in the planning process and more information will come soon!