Team Hits Bull’s Eye Winning Global Software Challenge

A team from the Georgia Institute of Technology recently earned the top prize in a global software development competition hosted by the Ministry of Science in South Korea.

Team DART – comprised of Associate Professor Karen Liu, robotics Ph.D. candidate Michael Grey and College of Computing alumnus Jeongseok Lee – took the grand prize in the Open Source Software (OSS) World Challenge 2016 for their entry, the Dynamic Animation and Robotics Toolkit (DART).

The collaborative toolkit gives programmers an open source library of data structures and algorithms for kinematic and dynamic applications. It features multi-body dynamic simulator and kinematic tools for control and motion planning, which are used in part to help robots and computer animations remain oriented in their environments.

According to Liu, there were many existing open-source physics engines commonly used for generating animation in movies or video games. However, none of them could be easily adapted for robotics problems or applications.

“'Can we design the most intuitive yet extensible interface for both naive and power users? What is the most useful set of functionality we should provide to facilitate researchers in robotics and computer graphics?’ These are the questions we had in mind when we designed DART," said Liu.

Being an open source project has accelerated DART’s development.

“The Personal Robotics Lab at CMU is also a major contributor to DART. We are also very grateful to many individual contributors that are making DART better on a daily basis,” said Liu.

Judging for the OSS World Challenge is based on broad applicability, potential impact, novelty, and technical depth of the project submitted. According to the Ministry of Science and the Korea Open Source Software Association, which organizes the event, the annual competition promotes “exchanges among open source software developers all over the world.”

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