NIARC 2017

2016 Wrap up | 2017 Official Documentation

All robots of NIARC 2016

Now on its 7th year, the NIARC has gone from 11 teams in 2011 to 31 teams from 22 top universities across Australia and New Zealand in 2016. With a theme focusing on the ‘Hospital of the Future’, around 400 attendees from academia, media and the general public attended the live final competition.


In the past years, media coverage from trade, business, education and mainstream media has been secured, with noted instances of media coverage which includes the following:

–       Prime time TV: (ABC News Breakfast, Morning, Noon, Early Edition, ABC Evening News and Channel 7’s Evening News
–       Radio: (Radio NZ morning report)
–       Print: (Engineers Australia, Guardian Messenger)
–       Online coverage: (Gizmodo,,

The competition will launch in March 2017 and will be joined by top student teams from Australia, New Zealand and possibly a guest team from Singapore. Over the course of several months, teams will be building an autonomous robot that will compete in a live final competition along with other teams that complete all the requirements.

The 2017 competition will focus on Autonomous Vehicles. Students will experience using industry leading hardware and software, and how to design an intelligent vehicle which can follow road rules and regulations, giving the students a practical means of understanding various facets of engineering, specifically robotics, with a strong focus on learning outcome.

Student teams this year will be required to design an autonomous/driverless vehicle to transport a passenger around town. Using navigation, spatial awareness and strategy to achieve this task, the track will simulate traffic conditions and may include, other vehicles, pedestrians, speed restrictions etc. The task will be to pick up and transport passengers while abiding by the road rules.

We are expecting further growth in applications for the 2017 competition and we would like to encourage you to submit your application forms at your earliest convenience once you have interested teams.

To be part of the competition, each university team will need:

–       4-6 team members (maximum of 1 postgraduate student per team) to complete competition milestones that build up to ultimately developing an autonomous robot for a live final event.

–       An assigned academic supervisor to ensure the team receives essential mentoring to perform to the standards of the competition. It will be the responsibility of the team supervisor to submit the competition milestones on behalf of the team and provide appropriate feedback to NI engineers.


NI will also be providing the following:

–       Initial platform training by NI Engineers who specialise in robotics applications.

–       A development kit containing software and hardware components including the NI myRIO; board level reconfigurable control system, and the LabVIEW Robotics Software Module.

–       All teams that successfully reach the final live competition, regardless of their finishing position, will get to keep the robotics development kit.

–       Ongoing access to online training.


You can find the following documents in:

–       Competition overview – 2016 Highlights

–       2017 Introduction document featuring key dates, milestone descriptions

–       Frequently Asked Questions

–       2017 NI ARC Poster

–       NI ARC Task and Rules Document

Each university may also opt to do a competition internally following the guidelines of the competition. The university can then put forward the winner to compete in the live final in September.

This initiative truly provides many benefits to the university and students alike, and the success of the previous years’ is testament to this belief. As you know, National Instruments is committed to supporting and inspiring engineering education and we look forward to providing a successful and enjoyable platform for students to learn, develop and achieve.