The VIKINGs Take the Second Round of the ARGOS Challenge

After a week of tests, the VIKINGS team was declared the winner of the second round of the ARGOS Challenge. We sat down with to Savatier, the team's coordinator.

How do you feel after the announcement of your victory?

It’s a joy to win again and a real satisfaction in knowing that all of the teamwork has paid off. The last day went very quickly. The last morning, we arrived on site for the final test, in a “challenge” state of mind. Then one thing quickly led to another: repacking the equipment in the workshop, the feedback from the week with the teams and the jury, and then the announcement of the winner and off we went. The victory hasn’t sunk in yet, but obviously we are going to celebrate the news in the coming days!

You already won the first round of the challenge, was there more pressure for this second competition?

Yes, there was extra pressure. We knew that the tests would be more difficult and that the other teams had also made lots of improvements to their robots. As was the case for the first competition, we didn’t consider ourselves as the favorites, but we had the right approach and it paid off.  The mechanical part of the robot, designed and built by SOMINEX, was reliable, efficient and robust. The electronic systems, software and sensors embedded by IRSEEM, the Research Institute of the ESIGELEC Engineering School, worked very well.

How will you handle the third and last competition?

We’ve already made an immediate debrief and decided on the areas that we must improve on. Notably, the aspects of the robot that did not work during the tests. Then we need to develop our strategy so that we can strive towards Total’s two main goals: the ATEX certification and the robot’s autonomy.

A final summary?

I would like to emphasize the involvement and the high level of expertise shown by my team. It’s an exceptional and very skilled team and I’m very proud to coordinate this project. We are competing against four great teams who have challenged us all the way, and will continue to do so. I appreciate that all of the teams participate within an open innovation atmosphere, with a logic of exchange, sharing and trust between the teams, while preserving each other’s individual research work. By benefiting from the experience of a communal project, we will all continue to improve!