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From theory to practice: INESC TEC robotics triumphed in national competition and earned a recognition at international IEEE conference

A team of researchers from INESC TEC, FEUP and SYSTEC won, for the third consecutive time, one of the competitions of the National Robotics Festival, which took place in Paredes de Coura. A paper based on the winning team’s work, presenting a “complete robotics framework” was also acknowledged at an IEEE conference.  

24th May 2024

That’s three in a row. The 5DPO team, featuring INESC TEC researchers, won the Robot@Factory 4.0 competition at the National Robotics Festival. It is the third consecutive victory in this competition that tests autonomous robots operating in shop floors, focusing on the transportation of cargo. Outside the competition, the experience gathered over the years led to a paper that received the Best Paper Award at an international conference dedicated to autonomous robotic systems.

The paper A Robotic Framework for the Robot@Factory 4.0 Competition illustrates the work developed by the team over the last three years; the members presented the work at ICARSC2024 – International Conference on Autonomous Robot Systems and Competitions, in Paredes de Coura, which took place together with the National Robotics Festival, in early May. The authors present a “complete, modular and open-access robotic framework for the Robot@Factory 4.0 competition, allowing future participants to use and improve it in future editions”.

With INESC TEC researchers António Paulo Moreira, Cláudia Rocha, João Martins, José Sarmento, Maria Lopes, Paulo Costa, Ricardo Sousa among the authors, the paper also points to the potential of the framework for academic purposes and “to promote students’ STEAM education with a project-oriented learning approach to introduce basic robotics concepts”. “This work gathers all the knowledge acquired by winning the 2022 and 2023 editions of the competition”, as explained in the paper’s abstract.

The team also won this year’s Robot@Factory 4.0 competition. In this challenge, robots are required to collect a box, using an electromagnet, and transport it to the necessary location. The robot must locate itself based on markers placed on the ground or reflectors placed at the corners of the track and move across a flat floor.