South Ural State University students took the silver medal at the first all-Russian contest for intelligent and robotic engineering systems in airport operations, Aerobot-2017. The contest was held since October 2016 by Oleg Deripaska’s Volnoe Delo Foundation and the company Bazel Aero in the program “Robotics: Engineering and Technical Staff of Innovative Russia”, realized by the Foundation since 2008. School and university students up to 25 years old from all over the country participated in the contest. The teams included two to six people, and 71 teams applied for participation. 24 teams from 14 regions of Russia completed a preliminary selection process to participate in the first stage of the contest.
One of the goals of the contest is for participants to master the skills of project thinking and work in engineering; stimulating youth to create technical solutions with high commercial potential for airport operations; implementing mechanisms of collaboration with promising and young staff at the holding company’s airports; and forming a staff reserve.
The contest was held in two categories: Idea – solving set tasks without a current working prototype, and Project – solving set tasks with a working prototype and real time limits for developing it to a finished product.
Aerobot was held in two stages. The first was a selection stage, consisting of two tours. In the first tour, the teams had to choose a topic on the Robotics Engineering Program site (in the Engineering Project section), confirm it with specialists of Bazel Aero, and prepare their project. Based on the scores given by experts of the holding, certain teams became participants of the in-person stage which was held in March of this year in Moscow as part of the Russian Robotics Festival, RoboFest-2017.
At the end of the Festival, the student team Vector from South Ural State University from the Department of Electric Drive and Industrial Automation of the Polytechnic Institute's Power Engineering Faculty, Pavel Vanin, Vsevolod Vdovin, and Dmitriy Shokolova, entered the second in-person stage of the contest (the final), held at the Sochi International Airport, with their project “Automated complex for giving empty bins to passengers in the screening zone”.
As Aleksander Nesterov, Associate Professor of the Department of Electric Drive and Industrial Automationstated, nearly every airport passenger around the world experiences wait times when completing pre-flight security screenings.
“Our development moves empty bins for clothing and personal items to passengers from the post-screening area to the pre-screening area to complete screening. This reduces staff’s preoccupation with tasks outside of regulation and improves pre-flight screening efficiency,” said Aleksandr Sergeevich, noting the advantages of this development.
The expert commission included, in part, the deputy CEO of the Sochi International Airport, Sergey Filippov, and head of the program “Robotics: Engineering and Technical Staff of Innovative Russia”, Maksim Petrov.Having defended their technical documents, completed presentations, and answering questions from the expert commission, the Smart DSTU Technology team, representing Don State Technical University (Rostov-on-Don), earned 93.5 points according to the commission, and the Vector team – 90.6. The final scores of these two teams differed by just 3 points.
The South Ural State University team took second place and earned a certificate for a trip to the Krasyana Polyana Ski Resort. First place, and the right to sign a contract on completing research and development to create a prototype, went to the Smart DSTU Technology team. The ideas of the Chelyabinsk students was also of interest to the airport. The commission suggested the team participate in contests for airport innovations in 2018 after fixing suggestions made to them within this contest.