Australian team wins Grand Championship at 2017 Amazon Robotics Challenge

Contestants were awarded $270,000 in prizes to support continued innovation within the robotics and automation community.

Contestants were awarded $270,000 in prizes to support continued innovation within the robotics and automation community.

Amazon has announced the results of its 2017 Amazon Robotics Challenge with winners hailing from Australia, the U.S., and Singapore.

The Australian Centre for Robotic Vision succeed in the Grand Championship Combined Task to win the overall Challenge with Nanyang Technological University of Singapore winning the Pick Task and MIT Princeton winning the Stow Task.

The Australian Centre for Robotic Vision developed their own Cartesian robot “Cartman” for the challenge. Theirs was the only Cartesian robot at the event, and it is believed to be the least expensive contestant as well. Cartman can move along three axes at right angles to each other, like a gantry crane, and featured a rotating gripper that allowed the robot to pick up items using either suction or a simple two-finger grip.

This year’s finalists demonstrated sophisticated solutions combining object recognition, pose recognition, grasp planning, compliant manipulation, motion planning, task planning, task execution, and error detection and recovery to successfully pick and stow unique items. Teams were judged based on how many items were successfully picked and stowed by their robots in a fixed amount of time. A total of $270,000 in prizes were awarded to contestants throughout the four-day competition.

“This year we made some changes to the challenge to make it even more difficult and to encourage broader participation from multiple robotics fields – and the response was exciting,” said Joey Durham, contest chairperson and manager of research and advanced development for Amazon Robotics. “The versatility of recognition capabilities in an unstructured environment and the dexterity of grasping mechanisms was truly impressive. What we’re most proud of with the Amazon Robotics Challenge is its celebration of robotic community and the venue it’s created to share and promote research in a fun and rewarding way. Congratulations to our winners and all of our contestants!”

The Amazon Robotics Challenge aims to strengthen the ties between the industrial and academic robotic communities and promote shared and open solutions to the technical challenges faced in unstructured automation. The skills challenge attracted 16 teams of researchers from 10 countries to compete. This year’s Amazon Robotics Challenge was held during RoboCup, a leading competition for intelligent robots and one of the world’s most important technology events in research and training. RoboCup and the Amazon Robotics Challenge were held in Japan at the Nagoya International Exhibition Hall (Portmesse Nagoya).

The Australian Centre for Robotic Vision team consisted of researchers, early PhD candidates and undergraduate students who combined computer vision, machine learning and a variety of robotic hardware to successfully complete both pick and stow tasks the fastest. For winning the finals, the Centre, headquartered at Queensland University of Technology (QUT), will receive $80,000.

For additional information about the Amazon Robotics Challenge including contest details, participating teams, rules, FAQs and detailed results, visit For more information about RoboCup, visit A video from the event can be viewed here.

See below for additional information on all winners.

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