Over the course of 3 days in the breath-taking setting of Cite de l'Espace, 10 teams from 6 countries around the world put their autonomous robots to the test for RoCKIn's first competition event. Within the purpose-built RoCKIn@Home and RoCKIn@Work arenas, robots were tested on their performance in tasks, such as welcoming visitors to Granny Annie's apartment and transporting parts, as well in specific functionalities, such as object perception and speech recognition.
RoCKIn2014 was completely open to the public, attracting hundreds of visitors over the three days, with both French and English Language commentators on hand to set the scene for the audience. Amongst the special guests were Khalil Rouhana, a director at the European Commission as well as reporters from major French media outlets. For those that couldn't be there in person, the entire three days were streamed live on YouTube and the RoCKIn website.
On the final day of the competition, the highest scoring teams, as determined by our objective benchmarking system, were given awards for achievements including the best overall team in each of the two Challenges, and the best teams in individual tasks and functionalities.
Through our partners at Cite de l'Espace and Midi-Pyrenees, a range of satellite events for the general public, academia and industry were arranged. These included a screening of Robot & Frank, an exposition entitled 'The Robots', a live demonstration of the NAO robot, and networking and conference events.
Overall, RoCKIn2014 offered teams the opportunity to test their robots in real-life scenarios, work with new people from new places and new disciplines and for intensive skills development. For the general public, RoCKIn2014 was able to demonstrate the role robotics can play in tackling important industrial and societal challenges and sought to inspire younger generations to get involved in Science, Technology and Engineering.
RoCKIn2014 coincided with European Robotics Week (ERW) which encompassed more than 300 activities in 25 European Countries and aimed at inspiring students of all ages to pursue technology, engineering and math. In 2014, for the first time ever, the ERW Communications Centre moved from Brussels to be based with RoCKIn2014 at Cite de l'Espace in Toulouse.
Please see the RoCKin@Work and RoCKIn@Home Challenge pages for further information on the tasks, platforms and benchmarking.
The Cité de l'espace first opened its doors in 1997. Today, it leads the way in Europe in spreading awareness of space and astronomy culture among the wider public. In the heart of the Midi-Pyrénées region, Toulouse is the European capital of space and is Europe's leading space hub, accounting for 25% of all employment in the space sector (research laboratories, French space agency, universities, higher institutes, spac manufacturers, weather forecasting, etc.). The Cité de l'espace works closely with leading French, European and international space organisations and stretches across 5 hectares, welcoming in a total of 304,000 visitors in 2013.