An inexpensive robot has triumphed over its more sophisticated competition to win Amazon's annual Robotics Challenge. 'Cartman', a robot designed by the Australian Center for Robotic Vision (ACRV), was built from scratch for a fraction of the cost of other competing robots, and was even held together in places by cable ties.
This year's winner -- which netted its creators the AU$80,000 ($63,770) cash prize -- stood out from the competition because of its gantry-like design. Instead of a robotic arm, Cartman functions via a sliding mechanism that picks products from above, moving on three axes. At its end is a rotating gripper, which uses a suction cup or two-finger grip to grab the item. The parts for the robot were cheap by the standards of typical industrial robots, costing under AU$30,000 ($23,913).