2011 Summary and Happy 2012

You’ll find in this post a summary about all the cool stuff I witnessed through out 2011.

Last year came with a heavy agenda. Lots of public events took place during the year. I participated with my ClubElek team-mates at 3 different exhibitions and 4 different contests.

Exhibitions

Mondial des Métiers, in Lyon, France

Takes place early February at Lyon, France. Syntec Numerique invites ClubElek every year to share a glimpse of informatics’ career paths to young students and to explain them why computer science is so cool. 🙂

Innorobo

Takes place every year around mid-March at Cité Internationale, Lyon, France. A great place to meet robotics enterprises from all around the world such as iRobot Corporation and Aldebaran Robotics. I can say without fear that our robot wasn’t as cute as NAO the humanoid robot from Aldebaran. But hey! Ours is not plastic made!

Industrie expo

Takes place every 2 years in Lyon, France. It is by far the largest exhibition I’ve ever been. I can’t recall the number of times I got lost in between ~800 exhibitors and  almost 17 thousand visitors. INSA de Lyon and ClubElek stood along high-profile companies such as ABB, Areva, Dassault Systèmes, Siemens, … It was a great honour to showcase the outcome of my computer vision project in this expo.

Contests

All 4 contests I took part this year were Chess Up related, they were all based on the competition rules I announced last year.

ArcerlorMittal robotics contest

This contest was sponsored and organized by ArcelorMittal and took place at their Metz Research Center, France.

It was a great opportunity to test our robot and to discover the company from the inside-out. We visited their research facilities and enjoyed their excellent meals. We didn’t win the competition. However, we won the Jury Prize for the best presentation to the Jury where we explained how our robotics club is organized. The prize: spend the night in a beautiful Chalet. Sauna included. Awesome!

ClubElek at ArcerlorMitall 2011 contest

ClubElek robot during a performance at ArcelorMittal 2011 contest. Image Credits Facebook coupeAM2011

Rhônes Alpes Robotics Cup

Better known as “La Coupe Rhône Alpes” in France. It is a robotics contest organized by ClubElek which takes place during the “world-wide” known event called Les 24 heures de l’INSA, at INSA de Lyon, France.

It is a special contest where teams show their robots off to the public and learn how others have solved the same challenges. The best part of it: the BBQ offered by ClubElek at the end of the day. Yummy!

French robotics cup

It was the beginning of June when a bunch robots and their fanatical developers grouped together at La Ferté Bernard to participate at the most important robotics challenge in France: La Coupe de France de Robotique. Our team Clubelek was obviously present. We had built a very compelling robot and we all had very high hopes on to what it could achieve, however (or should I say as usual ^^), the robot faced a lot of small problems that took a huge time end effort to solve, so we weren’t exactly sure if it was going to be able to do everything we planned it to do.

Actually, everything went bad the first few matches against the other robots. Fortunately, we got very good scores in the end; therefore, we got an entry pass to the sixteenth-finals! Call it luck, preparation, hard work or whatever you’d like but we managed to get into the podium after several other matches!

The video of the last match that gave us our beloved 3rd place (Our robot is the one at the top red square) :

Eurobot

As you might already know, being either the 1st or the 2nd best French team, you get to participate at the European robotics contest called Eurobot. And because BHTeam, the 2nd French team, desisted to go, ClubElek got its free ticket to Eurobot 2011 in Russia. Last year’s Eurobot took place in Astrakhan, Russia.

Russia was a great experience, I got to meet lots of beautiful places and people, tasted new flavours and even learned some new words like привет! All while showing off our little robotics creation. Crazy stuff!

Saint Basil's Cathedral

Saint Basil's Cathedral, Moscow, Russia.

Projects

My 2 main ClubElek’s projects in 2011 were:

  1. A new A* based pathfinder library. A refactor of something I had already done last year but faster and more user/developer friendly.
  2. The second project was even more incredible. To give artificial vision to the robot.

I also did a summer internship in Atos Worldline where I worked with great people and with some new fancy mobile technologies.

In all 2011 was an amazing year !

Happy 2012!

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