Sixteen teams from across the globe came to Nagoya, Japan to participate in the third annual Amazon Robotics Challenge. Amazon sponsors the event to strengthen ties between the industrial and academic robotics communities and to promote shared and open solutions to some of the big puzzles in the field. The teams took home $270,000 in prizes.
Capturing and processing camera and sensor data and recognizing various shapes to determine a set of robotic actions is conceptually easy. Yet Amazon challenged the industry to do a selecting and picking task robotically and 28 teams from around the world rose to it.
The Amazon Picking Challenge is over and two things stood out. One: how many different arm gripper solutions were possible; and two: just how difficult the challenge still is. The gap between the top two teams and the other 26 teams was significant, with Team RBO scoring 148 points, Team MIT scoring 88 points and Team Grizzly next best with 35 points.