IAEA Robotics Challenge
IAEA Robotics Challenge
What do we want to improve?
Some of the most common tasks undertaken by the IAEA inspectors involve making repetitive measurements in areas that can be difficult to access, or with elevated radiation levels. This is a domain where robotic could play a role, not only to improve the working conditions of the inspectors but also to enhance the consistency of the IAEA measurements. Two categories of robotic platforms are specifically considered for this technology challenge:
Challenge Category 1: Small Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV)
Inspectors frequently use a small handheld optical instrument called the Improved Cerenkov Viewing Device (ICVD) to confirm the presence of spent fuel stored underwater. The IAEA would like to mount this device inside a small robotized floating platform, which would autonomously propel itself across the surface of the pond, while stabilizing the ICVD in a vertical position.
Challenge Category 2: Small Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV)
Inspectors conduct a routine task that includes counting containers, recording their ID tags and performing gamma measurements on some of them. The IAEA would like to identify small unmanned vehicles / robotized rolling platforms able to assist the inspector by performing the following tasks: moving autonomously across a storage area, counting items of a specific geometry, recording their ID tags, and carrying specific IAEA instrument payloads.
Full description of these tasks is available to the registered challenge participants here.
Challenge participants must submit the following deliverables:
- Filled-in template describing the system and explaining how key scenarios have been technically addressed
- Short dedicated (non-commercial) videos showing the robot performing in these situations
Submission will open on June 19; registered participants will have access to the templates and submission forms here.
Participants with the best technical proposals will receive funding to participate in the Demonstration Week (robotics hackathon), organized in Australia (attendance limited to two individuals per proposal). The IAEA will allocate 20.000 euros to support private entities, startups or small businesses and will eventually facilitate access to alternative sources of funding for other categories of organizations.
First prizes in each category (USV and UGV) are 5000 EUR; two second prizes are 3500 EUR each; IAEA will also distribute three supporting prizes of 1000 EUR each.
Other challenge participants with compliant proposals will be welcome to participate in the Demonstration Week at their own expenses.
Participants need to register to receive full access to the challenge details and to the proposal submission page. Registered participants will also get access to the regularly updated Question/Answer page.
Start of the challenge
The technical proposal shall be in the English language; it shall be precise and concise - catalogues, marketing or commercial documentation shall be avoided unless necessary. Participants shall provide all deliverables requested on the submission page.
Participants’ technical proposals
A panel of inspectors and IAEA experts will evaluate the proposed technologies against the criteria outlined below. The evaluations will be regularly updated in order to determine final technical acceptability:
- Applicability to fulfill key scenarios
- Compactness and ruggedness
- Ease of customization facilitating IAEA deployments
During the evaluation period, additional clarification questions may be sent by the IAEA to the participants.
If the selected proof of concept requires any significant customization level of effort, the IAEA may be inclined to finance some of the associated development cost (to be agreed ad-hoc).
The IAEA will invite participants to submit commercial proposals in accordance with IAEA procurement policy. The commercial proposals will be evaluated based on the final technical scores as well as commercial acceptability of the financial proposal and contractual compliance.
A Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA a.k.a. IQIQ, Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity) will be awarded to the bidders who submit the best value for money combining “cost and quality”.
When applicable, selected participants shall transfer the software source-code to allow the IAEA to customize the solution on its own. The IAEA may award multiple contract agreements related to this project.
Procurement (Request for Proposal and Contracting)