ECE PhD students Maozhen Wang and Peng Chang are in Brisbane, Australia during their Thanksgiving Break to participate in the International Atomic Energy Agency Robotics Challenge. The Northeastern Team, funded by the Brookhaven National Laboratory, also consists of Ruofan Zhang (ECE PhD student), Dr. Xianchao Long (ECE'17), and Guhan Damodaran Gopalakrishnan (ECE MS'19). ECE Associate Professor Taskin Padir is the team's adviser. The demonstration week is being held between 20th and 24th November, 2017 hosted by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) in Brisbane, Australia.
According to the challenge organizers:
"Inspectors conduct a routine task that includes counting containers, recording their ID tags and performing gamma measurements on some of them. The IAEA would like to identify small unmanned vehicles / robotized rolling platforms able to assist the inspector by performing 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."
To meet the challenge, ECE researchers built a small unmanned ground vehicle with a custom design lift mechanism and a sensor suite. The Northeastern Team is one of eight, and the only one from the United States, participating in the challenge. The Northeastern's proposal entitled "Small-UGV for Conducting In-Field Inspections (SCIFI) in Nuclear Environments" was selected among 27 applications.