• Siwei Feng

Congratulations to 1st year PhD student Siwei Feng as his submission to this year’s Agile Robotics for Industrial Automation Competition (ARIAC) won the 2nd spot. The achievement is accompanied by a $5,000 cash prize.

Siwei Feng is a member of the Algorithmic Robotics and Control (ARC) Lab and advised by Prof. Jingjin Yu. The effort was part of Siwei’s project for the CS672 graduate seminar on “Robot Manipulation” offered by Prof. Kostas Bekris.

The ARIAC competition is organized by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Open-Source Robotics Foundations (OSRF). The competition is focused on testing the agility of robot systems in dealing with challenges that arise in industrial setups. In this simulation-based competition competitors are asked to design a system that can fulfill shipment orders and pack products in a tray as fast as possible in an economic way, i.e., without using unnecessary sensors and actuators. This year’s challenge is more difficult than previous years since organizers introduced the use of multiple robotics arms where collaboration between them was necessary.

The following URL provides information regarding the competition and the final results:


Participants to the competition had a short period of time to develop their software entry of about a month. Siwei was able to quickly develop a solution for the competition, as the robotic arms used in the contest have similar specifications with physical robotic arms available in the Computer Science department’s robotic lab. Siwei noted that although the system still has imperfections, insights regarding proper sensor selection, grasping strategies and multi-arm collaboration allowed it to score well in the competition.

A demonstration video is available under the following URL:


Additional credit goes to Siwei’s labmates during the competition for their feedback: Rui Wang, Shuai Han, Wei Tang and Chen Jia, who was a teammate in the seminar’s project.

Siwei will present his solution in a wrap-up workshop coming in Late 2019 / Early 2020.

Siwei has also managed to have a first-author paper at the top "Robotics: Science and Systems" conference during his first year as a PhD student together with Han Shuai, Kai Gao and his advisor Prof. Jingjin Yu on the topic of "Efficient Algorithms for Optimal Perimeter Guarding":