UM Computer Science Team Achieve 2nd Place Finish in Prestigious Robotics Competition Overseas

Congratulations to Professor John Anderson’s Computer Science lab for its’ spectacular 2nd place finish in this year’s Humanoid Application Challenge at the 2019 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS). One of the largest and most impactful robot research conferences in the world, this years’ IROS was held in Macau, China from November 4 – 8, 2019. 

With Humanoid Application Challenge’s theme extended from robot magic to robot magic and music, the UM’s Snobots team used the opportunity to create the first ever Canadian humanoid robot rock band. The Snobots were one of 9 qualified teams coming from a variety of countries, including Taiwan, Iran, India, Indonesia, Portugal and Brazil.

Team members included post-doctoral fellow Meng Cheng Lau and Computer Science undergrad and lab volunteer Christian Melendez Gallegos. While Lau and Gallegos attended the conference in Macau, fellow teammates and Computer Science undergraduates Mario Mendez Diaz and Borui Li remained in Winnipeg. However, all team members are to be congratulated for their hard work, which was supervised by Dr. Anderson. They would like to thank both the Faculty of Science for their financial support, as well as SEED Robotics, which provided the prize for the Snobots’ outstanding effort.

The robotic hand sponsored by SEED Robotics is valued at approximately $1500 USD. This will make a highly useful addition to the lab by adding grasping and manipulation capabilities to their humanoid robots. Watch out for the robots to play a different musical instrument in next year’s competition!

To see the band’s world debut performance by MC Lau (guitar and vocals), Christian (DJ), Polaris (drummer), and Oscar (keyboardist), go to https://youtu.be/pFOyt1KKCfY

By Jo Davies

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