Build a military robot, win loads of cash

Canberra, Australia – The Australian government has launched an international competition to build a new generation of military robots.

The multi-million dollar competition, known as the Multi-Autonomous Ground-robotic International Challenge (MAGIC), is being organised by Australia’s Defence Science & Technology Organisation (DSTO) in partnership with the US Department of Defense.

The aim is to develop robots that can do the army’s “dirty work”, say the organisers, particularly in urban combat zones.

“The challenge for the competitors is to develop a proposal demonstrating teams of robotic vehicles that can autonomously coordinate their activities and execute a mission in a changing urban environment,” said Greg Combet, Minister for Defence Personnel, Materiel and Science.

“The robots must detect, monitor and neutralise a number of potential threats to meet the challenge goals and an international panel of experts will judge the entries.”

The five short-listed competitors will each receive research grants of $100,000 to develop their proposals into prototypes. After they have successfully demonstrated their prototypes at a location in South Australia next year, the top three finalists will receive research awards of $750,000, $250,000 and $100,000 respectively.

Competition details are available here.