Pandora 2nd in RobocupRescue Competition 2013

pandoraIn the framework of the world competition RobocupRescue 2013, the Greek team Pandora from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH) ranked second among 20 research groups all over the world, with their robotic vehicle Pandora for the location and rescue of disaster victims, in the category of autonomous robotic vehicles.

RobocupRescue 2013 took place in Eindhoven, the Netherlands from June 26 until July 1. The 20 teams competed with their robotic vehicles for four days at various venues under conditions of real disaster. In the finals, the Pandora team was second, behind the Hector team from the University of Darmstadt.

The robotic vehicle Pandora incorporates sensory organs for determining the vehicle’s position, as well as sensory organs responsible for the location and identification of a victim.

“It is an autonomous vehicle, which means that it can move without the help of a GPS, WI-FI and with no remote control. It creates mapping and identification itself (through a laser gate, sonars) and this is important because in enclosed spaces, or in spaces where there is no networking, it can offer valuable help,” Andreas Symeonidis, Assistant Professor in Electrical & Computer Engineering Faculty of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH explained.

More than 500 conference delegates from the fields of Robotics, Mechatronics, Intelligent Systems and Artificial Intelligence participated in the world competition.

The research team Pandora (Program for the Advancement of Non Directed Operating Robotic Agents) was created in 2005. Pandora is the evolution of collective efforts during the last years, which required “many thousands of man-hours, extra-curricular” by professors and students of this specific research group of AUTH, with small grants for the purchase of materials.

Pandora team had participated in RobocupRescue three times in the past (2008-2009-2011) with encouraging results, improving each time the team’s expertise and approach.