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RUC 2019 is Over! Here's the Amazing Automation Challenge

Alex Owen-Hill
by Alex Owen-Hill. Last updated on Sep 19, 2019 9:47 AM
Posted on Sep 05, 2019 8:17 PM. 6 min read time

The RUC 2019 is over! It's now time to relax with some games… but first, let's fill you in on our amazing automation challenge.

What an action-packed two days we've had!

We've learned some French and heard some inspiring stories. We've experienced a dangerous product demo. We've programmed cobots in a silent disco, and we've had some impressive online chat.

The attendees here at RUC 2019 have been working harder than they've probably ever worked in a two-day conference (not to mention those of us in the Robotiq team!).

Right now, we've wrapped up the official activities here. It's now time for us to enjoy the games night!

But, first…

Let's tell you about the amazing Automation Challenge that we've just had…


The Challenge

Over the last two days, the tech track attendees have been getting a ton of hands-on learning with the 54 UR robots in our R2-D2 room. The sales track attendees have experienced equally intense learning about the cobot capabilities in the JARVIS room.

Together, these attendees have enough cobot knowledge and skills to take on the world!

But, can they master our Automation Challenge?

This year's challenge is a fun one. Here's how it works:

  1. Each team consists of 1-2 sales participants and 1-2 tech participants.
  2. Each team picks a ball out of the aquarium (yes, that's right, an aquarium). The number on the ball sent them to one of the cobot workstations.
  3. The workstation they get determines the cobot application they will program.
  4. They have just 2 hours.

Easy, you might think, given that the tech participants have spent two days learning how to program these applications…


But, there's a catch…

The tech participants are not allowed to program the cobots!

It's completely hands-off for them.

Only the sales participants and end-users can program the cobots (that's the people with the light blue surrounding their name on their badges). The tech participants can only act as mentors.

It sounds a bit tougher now, right!?


Challenge accepted!

You might have thought that our attendees would be tired of cobots by now, what with all the intensive workshops they've been doing over the past two days.

But, no! Nobody gets tired of cobots here at RUC!

The teams jumped into action.


The 4 challenge applications

The challenge applications were not exactly the same as the ones that they had been doing in the tech workshops, but they were similar.

Here are the details of the 4 challenges.

Sanding challenge

Teams with this challenge had to completely sand a part which was covered in pen marks. Success in this challenge meant removing all of the marks.


CNC machine tending challenge

Teams with this challenge had to run a complete machine cycle for 8 parts without stops.


QC machine tending challenge

Teams with this challenge had to inspect 5 parts.

This involved:

  • Connecting the robot to the QC machine server via an IP address.
  • Scanning the QR code on the part.
  • Sorting it as a pass or fail according to the server result.


Assembly challenge

Teams with this challenge had to complete 2 assemblies, which involved:

  • Inserting a PCB into the casing.
  • Applying sealant to the entire assembly.


The Results

There was a lot of great teamwork going on here in the R2-D2 room.

After 2 hours, the teams had made amazing progress and many had managed to some impressive progress. 

Everyone did amazingly. But, it is a competition after all. There are some winners!

Here are the winners from each category:

Winners of the Assembly Challenge

Congratulations, Mohammad Nazzali from Shelley Automation, Erik Pourtau from SYSAXES, Samir Shaikh from FPE Automation, and Guillaume Walsh from Conceptromec!


Winners of the CNC Machine Tending Challenge

It's a tie! 

Congratulations, Marcos Jiménez from Robotplus and Craig Zoberis from Fusion OEM!


Congratulations, Michael Lessard from RES Automatisation Contrôle and Matt Miller from Automation Inc!


Winners of the Sanding Challenge

Congratulations, Ryan Weaver from Axis New England and Carlos Han from Smith & Nephew!

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Winners of the QC Machine Tending Challenge

Congratulations, Daniel Espinoza from Avior, Lance Price from Olympus Controls, and Carey Beevers from Phillips Corporation!


Sales Challenge Winners

Plus, we have the winning team for the Sales Challenge. 

Congratulations Team #6!



It's time to kick back and play…

That's it! The Robotiq User Conference over for another year. 

What a year it has been!

Now, it's time for us to relax. As Patrick Tawagi from posted earlier today... It's cocktail time!

And it's also games time! We've got a some games to help everyone unwind.

Until next year's RUC everyone!



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Alex Owen-Hill
Written by Alex Owen-Hill
Alex Owen-Hill is a freelance writer and public speaker who blogs about a large range of topics, including science, presentation skills at, storytelling and (of course) robotics. He completed a PhD in Telerobotics from Universidad Politecnica de Madrid as part of the PURESAFE project, in collaboration with CERN. As a recovering academic, he maintains a firm foot in the robotics world by blogging about industrial robotics.
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