Set amongst the rolling hills, vineyards and iconic Tuscan architecture of Peccioli in Italy, 42 participants from 7 countries around Europe gathered for RoCKIn Camp 2015 - a week-long, hands-on event to prepare teams for the final competition event, RoCKIn2015. Encouraging diversity, both in terms of approaches and participants, is a key aim of RoCKIn, which is why we were delighted to have an all-female team from Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University in attendance. At the Camp, teams gained access to the state-of-the-art ECHORD++ domestic testbed and the RoCKIn industrial testbed and had the chance to perfect their performance in the task and functionality benchmarks. The domestic testbed was equipped with the RoCKIn ground truth system for data gathering and allowed teams to get detailed feedback on their performance.
Filippo Cavallo from the BioRobotics Institute kicked off the event with a talk on robotics in the region and some of the initiatives the institute was working on. Our second guest speaker was Professor Oskar von Stryk from the Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany, who gave participants an insight into what it required, in terms of motivation and technological development, to take the BioRob™ robotic arm from a scientific research project to a spin-off company and eventually a commonplace commercial product on factory floors.
The expert RoCKIn team were on hand to assist participants throughout the week, working with teams late into the night on the Saturday while they made last minute preparations for the demonstrations on Sunday. The demonstrations, attended by the public and local media, provided an opportunity for the teams to showcase their improved abilities to undertake the RoCKIn tasks. Exceptional performances were recognised at the awards ceremony.
The Camp took place at the Service Robotics and Ambient Assisted Living Lab. Photos from the event are now available here.