The first All-Russian Robot Battle was held in the framework of the Perm Engineering and Industrial Forum on November 12. The partners of the event were the Russian Venture Company and GenerationS, the federal startup accelerator. The main prize and the title of the first champion of Robot Battle-2015 were granted to X-FORCE, a team from Perm.
Perm Engineering and Industrial Forum opened on 12 November. Some of the events of the first day were planned in collaboration with RVC and GenerationS, a federal startup accelerator. The highlight of the forum was the first ever all-Russian Robot Battle in 2015.
“We realized that to popularize science we need to turn it into a real show. The Robot Battle is a special event for Perm, and many local people came to see it with their children. We managed to get 20 skillful and highly motivated teams from across the country to participate. Each of these teams was willing to win," Eugeny Pluzhnik, a co-organizer of the event, Vice-Rector of the Moscow Institute of Technology, comments. "No-one could have thought a few months ago that Perm will be the capital of the Russian robotics", Alexey Yuzhakov, another co-organizer, added. Alexey is the winner of GenerationS-2014, the co-founder and the head of Promobot, a Perm company.
All the combat robots were created for the show by Russian construction engineers. Among them, there are three members of the corporate accelerator Robotics GenerationS-2015: Avrora, the team of automatic piloting of land transport, the project team developing an independent platform on wheels to transport the parts and pieces in production settings ("ITR: Industrial Transport Robots"), and Igor Ryadchikov, the winner of the Robotics GenerationS accelerator. The developers controlled the movement of the combatants with remote controls. The robots had to survive and remain combat-ready throughout the round. The rules allowed armor penetration, sawing apart the body of enemies and tearing off their parts.
The title of the first champion of Robot Wars and a prize of 300,000 rubles went to X-FORCE team (captain Maxim Zhilin). The youngest participant of the Robot Battle, the six-year old Gosha Sokolov (Monoclon team) was awarded with a tour around Skolkovo robotics center. "You're our new hero. We are very impressed with how you were supporting your robot", Gulnara Bikkulova, the Director of the Department of Innovative Markets and a board member of RVC, the head of GenerationS, said to cheer up the upset young robotics enthusiast, and invited him to the final of GenerationS-2015 in Moscow. Gosha was given a gift — a kit for young neurotechnologists — from the finalist of Robotics GenerationS accelerator, project Bitronics, and his team also received 50,000 rubles from FORA Bank.
Another team, “Matanga”, received an invitation from RVC to the final of GenerationS-2015 and a grant of 100,000 rubles for the restoration of the combat robot. In her closing speech, Gulnara Bikkulova expressed confidence that such technological shows are the best investment in the popularization of science, and the first All-Russian Robot Battle was to become a legendary event.
Several members of GenerationS team also participated in the business program of Perm Engineering and Industrial Forum: Gulnara Bikkulova (RVC), Sergei Mitrofanov (Mitrofanov&Partners), Eugeniy Pluzhnik (MTI), Alexey Yuzhakov (Promobot). Alex Yuzhakov became a moderator at the conference "Strategies for promoting technology startups." He noted the importance of creating a unified start-up community where projects closely cooperate with each other and form an interesting collaboration: “At the Open Innovations forum, an agreement was concluded between Promobot and VisionLabs (face recognition system, GenerationS finalist of 2015). Many projects can complement each other and achieve significant competitive advantage, so we need to use that.”
Gulnara Bikkulova spoke about the tools and the three functions of RVC: as a fund of funds, the Institute for Development and the project office for the implementation of the National Technology Initiative. Gulnara explained that RVC does not invest in Internet projects, focusing on knowledge-intensive industries instead: "At the same time we are one of the oldest Russian development institutions, we have been around since 2006. To develop start-ups, we hold regional sessions of practical consulting, support regional start-up schools and, of course, organize GenerationS”. Gulnara urged entrepreneurs to use the opportunities offered by the RVC and not to forget to think about the future.