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PhD Student wins funding to participate in RoCKInCamp in Rome

Jan 28, 2014

PhD student Conor McGinn has won funding to attend the RoCKInCamp held in Sapienza University in Rome. The RoCKIn initiative is EU funded and is modelled on the world renowned DARPA challenge in the US - effectively crowd sourcing cutting edge research through well-funded and publicised competitions or challenges. The week-long event brings together teams of experts and researchers from around the globe, who will work together to develop innovative ideas for robotics in the home and work environments. Participants will receive expert instruction and practical experience in order to prepare them for the RoCKIn@Home and RoCKIn@Work competition events later in the year and again in 2015.

RoCKInCamp Application Lab.

Of particular focus are vision based pattern recognition, object and people detection, object grasping and manipulation, and human-robot interaction in natural language. Following on from each lecture, a member of the RoCKIn Team will discuss benchmarking for each section: expanding upon how the competition events will run and success measured. With expert speakers from both sides of the Atlantic, the workshops should provide innovative insights and guidance on the future of robotics: sparking discussions that will then develop into the afternoon practical sessions. On the final day the competition scenario for each of the RoCKIn@Home and RoCKIn@Work Challenges will be introduced - giving competitors a marker from where to direct their future work and kick-start their Challenge entry. The Camp is open to both existing research teams who wish to benchmark their solutions against the state of the art, and individuals who wish to work in a multi-disciplinary and challenging environment. Teams and individuals have applied from around the globe for this prestigious event and Conor is one of just 3 individuals to be awarded funding. Speaking about the award, Conor's supervisor Prof. Kevin Kelly said "This award is a validation of Conor's outstanding work in this area, where his passion and vision have stimulated a large number of students to get involved in this exciting research area. Through his efforts in the Trinity Robotics Club and his previous experience on a NASA internship, leading to the currently deployed Greenland Rover and on the Joanne O'Riordan robot (featured in the documentary 'No Limbs, No Limits' which is showing at the Jameson Dublin Film Festival in February 2014) Conor has demonstrated his ability to deliver top class results in high pressure and technically challenging projects." More information on the RoCKIn Initiative can be found here.