Архив метки: Russia

Skoltech’s Eurobot team reached top-16 in the final

After winning the Russian national title, participating the international final in Paris and reaching the top-16 stage, Skoltech’s Eurobot team – reSET – lost to the Swiss team A.R.E.S at the 1/8 final. “This final loss was like a win”, said reSET’s team leader, head of Skoltech’s robotics lab, Prof. Dzmitry Tsetserukou.

This year the Eurobot’s competition theme was “The Beach bots”. The participating robots had to complete theme related tasks – fishing, build sandcastles, and collect shells – within 90 seconds and earn as many points as possible. The finals took place in Paris, France. Among the participants there were teams from France, Belgium, Switzerland, Serbia, Romania, Hungary, the UK, Germany, Poland, Spain, Canada, Tunisia and of course the Russian federation. Each country could send more than one team.

On the first day of the competition, reSET got a nice 105-71 win over team TURAG from Germany on the second round. On the third round reSET lost to the Swiss team RCR 65-61, and got the 14th general place.

On the first round of the second day reSET lost to the French team ESEO – Angres 65 – 61, but had a wonderful 157-109 the next match, over the Swiss (again) team RI7. After the preliminary stages it turned out that the Skoltech team is between the top 16, which according to prof. Tsetserukou “It is the first time when new team comes to this stage”.

13410613_1212694872076463_2020777236_oAt the 1/8 final reSET met yet another Swiss team, this time it was team A.R.E.S, but lost 89-111. Prof. Tsetserukou describes what happened in the match: “The Swiss team blocked our robot, but our robot overpassed it with clever strategy. Unfortunately it could not bring sand-cubes to the designated area, but all the audience applauded us. We had a very clever robot and the most advanced”.

Oleg Shipitko stated on behalf of the reSET team: “We are quite happy, but we know that we could do better. We were quite unlucky on our way because in the randomly assigned pairs in qualification phase we didn’t have any easy opponents. Nevertheless we managed to get to the final and made our opponents very nervous there. We learned so many lessons about this competition and we will be much better prepared next year.
Also, we enjoyed sharing experience with other teams. It was a real pleasure for us that many teams with big experience were shocked by the level of technologies we used in our robots. In addition, we received many questions about Skoltech and how to apply to it. So, we expect to see familiar faces among next year’s students.
So, we are happy about the result but we are going to make it better.”

The final rank of reSET team was 13. We applaud the team, who is still the Russian champion, for the work they did and for their achievements. We also want to thank the team’s co-organizers – Skolkovo RoboCenter – and our sponsors: Phoenix ContactMaxon motorRock flow dynamics and Aviton. We are looking forward to see next year’s Eurobot team at Skoltech. The theme is already known – Moon village.

Skoltech Center for Energy Systems held its 2nd International Conference

P1080103On May 30-31, the Skoltech Center for Energy Systems hosted its second international conference entitled: “Shaping research in integrated gas-, heat- and electric- energy infrastructures”. The conference was jointly organized with the International Institute for Energy Systems Integration (iiESI).

This conference is a continuation of the successful event that took place in June 2015, where the modern mathematical methods applied to energy systems were largely discussed. This year, the internationally invited experts from around the world shared their experiences and discussed the prospects for integration of thermal, gas and electric power systems.

The technical committee of the conference included prof. Janusz Bialek, Director of the Skoltech Center for Energy Systems, his colleagues: prof. Michael Chertkov and prof. Aldo Bischi, and prof. Mark O’Malley, Director of the Research Center for Electric Power, University College Dublin.

3During the first day and a half of the event ,the widely recognized scientists in the field from Russia, USA, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Denmark, UK, Ireland and Japan discussed the challenges and opportunities related to the integration of heat, gas and power infrastructures: Combined Cooling, Heat and Power (CCHP) units achieving higher efficiencies and lowering the environmental impact; fluctuating renewable energy sources as well as loads and prices; electric energy storage both conventional, e.g. electrochemical, and unconventional e.g. as synthetic fuels (hydrogen or synthetic methane) or as thermal energy via heat pumps; thermal energy storage both via buildings inertia and via dedicated heat storage tanks integrated in the district heating network; how to deal with emergencies and be sure to operate in a safe interval.

1The 2nd half of the second conference day was devoted to discussion of the techno-economic aspects and integrated energy infrastructures practical challenges from industrial point of view. The R&D Center of Federal Grid Company presented their research activities as well as the multi-utility company IREN (Italy). IREN is active in more than ten EU projects and brought a real world example from the Turin district heating network integration with advanced heat storage configurations and consequent power plants flexibilization with emissions reduction. A representative from DNV GL (USA) gave a talk on modeling of gas compression station. Nomura Research Institute (Japan) and University of Bologna (Italy) spinoff, OPTIT were also present; the latter developing software for distributed power generation optimization. Also the non-commercial Association “NP Market Council”, the Design and Analytical Company “LORES”, the startup “Thermal Motors” LLC (co-founded by Skoltech student Dmitry Smirnov) and their colleagues from the Italian AB Gruppo, which will soon open an office in Moscow, participated in the so-called round table discussion to voice the existing barriers and opted potential solutions in achieving the full scale energy systems integration. The conference participants expressed their great interest in this area, highlighting its great practical importance.

Professor Alexander Ustinov

Professor Alexander Ustinov

Professor Alexander Ustinov, Deputy Director of the Skoltech Center for Energy Systems: “For us, the conference is of interest because by it means we are implementing one of the Skoltech functions – attracting the international expertise. This year we were able to assemble the world’s leading experts in the field of energy systems. Moreover, not only theoreticians, but also industry professionals with practical experience. There were interesting reports made by colleagues from Denmark, USA, Italy and Japan. So, the experience of creation of small-scale integrated power systems with the use of local resources, shared by the colleagues from Europe, which may look as far from us at first glance is, in fact, relevant to a number of isolated settlements in Yakutia and the Far East.

Participation of the Russian companies’ representatives in the industrial part of the conference, which can be viewed as both the consumers of technologies and developers of the unique solutions, allowed us to get a clearer picture of the landscape that exists today in the world and a place in the development of integrated energy systems, which belongs to Russia. The industrial program of the conference, in addition to the mutual acquaintance with experience, is valuable because of making contacts that could lead to joint projects. For Skoltech, this conference is interesting by the fact that we are bringing expertise and funds. Our University is a good partner to enter to the Russian market for our foreign partners.”

Vittorio Verda

Vittorio Verda

Professor. Vittorio Verda, Polytechnic University Torino, Italy: “The field of my interests is design and modeling of district heating areas, including solutions in the field of thermal energy storage. This subject is very well developed in Russia and is important for me to share my knowledge in this field and to get acquainted with the opinion of colleagues. One could hardly find another such opportunity to meet in one place with a concentration of leading experts from the academic and industry practitioners and engineers. It is a good platform for the exchange of ideas and the emergence of joint research plans. For example, in the field of simulation of gas and electricity networks. If we talk about the fact that it was particularly interesting to me, it is, of course, attention and action that is paid to the reliability of the functioning of Russian district heating systems – we in the Mediterranean region do not have such developed and reliable systems, and we found here an interesting experience and good prospects for cooperation.”

Vladimir Shkatov

Vladimir Shkatov

According to Vladimir Shkatov, Deputy Chairman of the Board of the Association “Non-Commercial Partnership Market Council on the organization of an effective system of electric power wholesale and retail trade and power”: “It is obvious that the current state of energy puts on the agenda the issue of integration, since the division of systems is very expensive. Speaking of integration, we mean that it is desirable to design and operate the support systems (heat, gas, elector, water supply, transport and so on) on the basis of a common approach to the operation and design. At some point in time of the 1970’s, we have done just that. Now the question is more efficient use of all types of energy, synergy is particularly urgent. And this decision is no longer a technological aspect, as it was in the USSR, and the aspect related to the business and political components. For us, this conference is interesting because of the fact that there have been discussed both technical and business aspects of solutions to this problem. Besides, it is always interesting to look and hear the international experience. “

Skoltech’s reSET team won Eurobot Russia and reached the international final

IMG_9055What a robotic weekend this was. It started with the Skolkovo Robotics conference on Friday, and ended with a grand crescendo of a convincing win by Skoltech’s Eurobot team in the national final stage of the Eurobot Russia competition. Skoltech’s team will participate in the international final, which will take place on the 11 to 12 June 2016, in Kremlin-Bicêtre, France.

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Skolkovo Robotics 2016 conference was opened to the notes of Vivaldi

Игорь БогачевThis is the fourth year the conference is being held, and for the first time it was held in an open-air format. Unfortunately the weather wasn’t very cooperative, with grey sky, clouds, wind and rain. On the other hand, it was an appropriate background to the opening notes of the conference – Vivaldi’s “four seasons”.  The first speaker to open the conference was the head of IT cluster at “Skolkovo”, Igor Bogachev. In his speech  Mr. Bogacev especially mentioned the crucial role of Skoltech in the development and promotion of robotics, and the fact that a large number of promising start-ups in this area were made by students and post-graduate students of Skoltech.

IMG_20160520_102509Alexander Kuleshov, Skoltech’s president, began his speech by thanking the audience: “Thank you for coming, even in such a disgusting weather – it shows the great interest in robotics. Today robots are not only machines, but also we can call a robot any device capable of performing “human-like” function. Therefore, it is no coincidence that the function of development of robotics in our country was taken over by the “Skolkovo” IT-cluster. Unfortunately, robotics is an area where our country is behind, and we are talking not about machines, but the “intelligence” in the software, which is required for robot navigation, control, operation of sensors. We have a lot of work to do in these areas. I am pleased to see here an absolutely multyaged audience. This means great interest in Robotics among old and young. I think that the combination of youth and experience will give a good result in the future”.

After the official part of the conference, participants began work on the program, which featured a few dozen presentations, workshops and demonstrations, including performance demonstration of the  “reSET” team, representing Skoltech in the Eurobot international competition.

Kopiya-IMG_8805One of the most exciting presentations was the presentation of Skoltech’s head of Robotics lab, Dzmitry Tsetserukou. He presented the projects of his lab and The Skoltech Eurobot team and the history of its creation. he explained that the goals of the Eurobot contest and the importance of this event for the robotics science. “I worked a lot abroad and noticed that in countries such as Japan, they know Russian scientists of the past, even Lomonosov’s name. But they almost have no idea about contemporary scientists in Russia. My goal is to change this situation, at least in the field of robotics , and we have a potential for it”.