This show has presented to the general public robots which function as limbs for children with mobility problems, exoskeletons, machines which help mobilise people with physical disabilities, or guide robots, amongst others. In its first participation in this robotics trade show, Ferrovial presented the cleaning robot used in Madrid–Barajas Airport’s Terminal 4, as well as the robot trolley A1A3, which accompanies street cleaners in Barcelona. Both projects were a source of great interest for all visitors to the fair.
For Ferrovial, participation in the fair is evidence of its commitment to robotics technology over the last few years, of which the two above projects are an excellent example. In both cases, robotics served for finding solutions to perceived needs and facilitating the tasks the resulting projects were designed for. Moreover, it provides further evidence of the company’s interest in attracting talent at all levels (universities, research centres, etc.). In order to do this, cooperation with Ennomotive, a community of engineers which helps companies resolve any challenges they may come up against, has been an important element.
More than 40 robotic projects participated in the Ferrovial Robot Challenge
Cooperation with Ennomotive resulted in the “Ferrovial Robot Challenge”, the first international challenge for autonomous robots presented by the company. Over 40 participants from all over the world submitted their projects, and 12 were shortlisted to compete for the top prize. The circuit prepared for the competition was fitted with all manner of obstacles which all participants had to avoid in an autonomous manner. After almost two days of training, the grand final between the five participants who had got through a very closely-fought qualification round was held on Saturday, 4 February. The number of times a robot crashed against an obstacle, the number of changes in direction and whether “manual” rescues were required, determined the name of the winners.
The first prize went to Isaura Almar and Michael Dukes, students of the Erhvervsakademi SydVest University in Denmark - awarded with a prize of 2 thousand euros; followed by Eduardo Cáceres, University of Valladolid, and Ignacio Montesino, Carlos III University of Madrid, who took the second and third place with a prize of 600 euros.
Participation in the “Ferrovial Robot Challenge” has been a total success, both as regards the quality of the participants and the large number of spectators at the competition circuit.