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Cleaning 2002

first international contest for autonomous cleaning robots

The contest took place on October 1-3, 2002, in Lausanne, Switzerland at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL) jointly with IEEE/RSJ Int. Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2002). There were three categories: floor cleaning, window cleaning and an ideas for housekeeping robots. Two Czech robots participated in this contest: Berta (Short Circuits team – the winner) and Cecilka (Sirael team) both in robotic floor cleaning.

Berta cleaning
Berta cleaning
Contest Area
Contest Area
The general objective of this contest was to bring together representatives from the cleaning industry and appliance manufacturers as well as young researchers, future customers and users, and draw their attention to an emerging technology.
The goal was of the floor cleaning category was to clean within 10 minutes 5x5m room as good as possible. The floor was covered with sugar. The robots competed in two rounds. The first qualification round consisted of matches within each of four randomly selected groups. The second round were finals of all winners from the first round. The total of 12 teams have participated.
The scoring was based on the area cleaned (number of cleaned tiles 50x50cm) multiplied by various “handicap factors”. These factors promoted cheap sensors and self-designed robots and cleaning systems. There were also penalties for hitting the doll, which represented a baby lying on the floor and for restarting the robots (which got stuck in a corner or had some other problems).
The first prize in the floor cleaning category was 1500 Euro. The winner of the competition was one of the two Czech teams – the Short Circuits team with robot Berta! You can read all about the design of the robot Berta.Thanks to this prize and 500 Euro travel grant from the organizers we could pay back our travel expenses and some parts used for our robot Berta. The second Czech robot, Cecilka has placed itself roughly on the 7th position according to the total score after the first round. The usual problem was that the robot was not finished and properly tested. In addition it was not able to go slower than about 30cm/s which is quite fast for a vacuum cleaner. We are trying to address the problem with slow speeds and precise navigation for our next robot Dana.
It seems unlikely that you could find any more information about this contest. There use to be the cleaning contest homepage, but it is no longer operational. Actually we might have become the official reference for this contest. There used to be some journal articles but the last time we checked only Heise worked (and Spiegel of course, since we have it scanned):

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