Earlier this year I had a unique opportunity to visit the prototype robot produced by Australian company Numinance, for entry into the 2010 Multi-Autonomous Ground-Robotic International Challenge (MAGIC).
Their work was impressive. In just a few months Numinance had built a robot that could zoom around on four wheels, consolidate 360 degrees of visual data and avoid obstacles. Needless to say the prototype was a success, gaining Numinance a spot in the MAGIC competition.
Congratulations Numinance! I await the competition in November 2010 so that I can see your final robot in action.
For more information about this event, have a look at the Australian Department of Defence official MAGIC site or this article by the ABC.
Please note: While I was impressed by the results, my own policy is to decline defence related work, competitions and grants unless they are specifically geared towards the preservation of life and/or environment. Thus, while I would accept a contract to build a landmine disabling device or a post-disaster clean-up bot, I declined participation in the MAGIC competition.