Engineering Now .: Volume 2 - Edition 11 .: May 26, 2006

Western WEBots team takes third in 2006 Autonomous Racing Challenge, robotics competition

(photo: introductory image for the site)
WEBots is shown here (foreground) in the Drag Race at the 2006 Autonomous Racing Challenge at the University of Waterloo.

The Faculty of Engineering’s new robotics team, WEBots, placed third at the 2006 Autonomous Racing Challenge at the University of Waterloo in late April.

The Autonomous Racing Challenge is a robotic contest organized at the University of Waterloo and involves fully autonomous robot vehicles competing head-to-head on an outdoor circuit, a drag race track, and in static judging

The WEBots team, consisting of fifteen members from the Faculty of Engineering, designed a robotic device to compete against seven other autonomous robots from schools as close as the Great Lakes region and as far as the Pacific shore.

“In overall evaluation, the Western WEBots team placed third, behind two robots designed by two different robotic teams from the University of Waterloo,” says team Staff Advisor, Eugen Porter. “An admirable standing for such a new team.”

Autonomous robots belong to the class of robotic devices that are designed and programmed to perform mobility tasks within certain limits, without assistance from humans.

In real life applications, these robotic devices may be expected to negotiate a trajectory between two points as quickly as possible while avoiding obstacles, and transmitting information collected during the task to the data acquisition point. The goal of robot racing is to promote research in autonomous mobile robotics technology by providing an environment for comparing the complexity, perfection, and performance of robotic platforms developed by different design groups.

“Devices similar to those in the Challenge are already used in space exploration, territory reconnaissance, explosive detection and make-safe operations,” explains Porter. “Participating in competitions like this will provide a knowledgebase for improving the existing robotic technology, and will provide ideas for designing completely new robotic devices.”

If you are interested in participation in the robotics group, or if you just want to contribute ideas, send emails to

Click here to read an article from The Waterloo Record regarding this competition …

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.: Allison Stevenson
Spencer Engineering Building, Room 2074
Telephone: 519 850-2917 Fax: 519 661-3808