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Amazon.com Holds Robotic Gripper Competition

To facilitate R&D, Amazon is holding “The Amazon Robotics Challenge.”  The Challenge “starts Thursday and tasks teams with picking up objects ranging from towels to toilet brushes and moving them between storage bins and boxes. The handiest contestants stand to win prizes from a pool totaling $250,000...  The showdown is taking place in Nagoya because it’s part of this year’s RoboCup, a festival of robotic competition which includes events for rescue, domestic, and soccer robots.”  RoboCup is taking place in Nagoya from July 25th to the 31st.

Amazon has held versions of the challenge twice in previous years. “This time around, though, the retail giant has revised the rules in ways that make the competition more difficult. ‘I think it’s getting closer to the real conditions you would find in a warehouse,’ says Juxi Leitner, who leads a team from the Australian Centre of Excellence for Robotic Vision. ‘They’re getting people to work on a problem they think they will need to solve to stay competitive without needing to hire anyone.’ ”