Editor’s note: This article was written by Rita Ren, who is part of the organizing team of the Geekpwn AI/Robotics Cybersecurity Contest. A self-professed robotics geek, you’ll probably find her in a workshop rather than a shopping mall.

This article was supported by GeekPwn. We believe in transparency in our publishing and monetization model. Read more here.

Imagine a laboratory sieged by secret agents. It seems an unlikely target, but our protagonists are searching for weaknesses that would grant them entry. They can creep in through ventilation shafts, dodge laser alarms, block surveillance cameras, and open safes. This scene seems to be a well-designed operation reserved for something out of a spy film.

But this is no movie. It’s a battle of design and skills, and with USD$30,000 up for grabs, the heat is piling on. Organized by GeekPwn and KEEN, the Robot Agent Challenge will test robot design, production, finesse, and control.

At the GeekPwn 2018 Robot Agent Challenge, competitors are invited to create remote-controlled or autonomous robots that can complete a series of complicated missions. Participants will choose whether to send their creations into the lab through a door, window, or ventilation shaft. The machines will be required to navigate a laser-filled corridor, granting them access to the laboratory.

Once inside, they will need to place an eavesdropping device, find a keycard, and open a locked safe. They will then have to block a security camera and attach a keylogger to a computer. Once these missions are completed, robots will receive corresponding points as score. Additional points will be granted if the robots can exit the lab safely.

GeekPwn’s 2018 highest scoring challenger in the Robot Agent Challenge will take home a USD$30,000 cash prize. We welcome participants to bring their creations to this global robotics enthusiasts’ battle and showcase their abilities to the world. The deadline for registration for the GeekPwn2018 Robot Agent Challenge is July 15 (Las Vegas) and September 30 (Shanghai). More information can be found at geekpwn.org.

In addition to the offline robot agent segment, GeekPwn 2018 is putting forward another crowd-pleaser, the world’s first real-world online Hacker Room Challenge.

This is not just a simple demonstration of how to crack a single smart device, but rather how to hack a set of different smart devices and create a working kill chain, targeting smart devices including   intelligent door locks, smart cameras, routers, intelligent safes, computers, mobile phones, and other smart products. We will reveal more details to be published later in June 2018.

While the Robot Agent Challenge happens in physical space, the Hacker Room Challenge can be considered the equivalent happening in cyberspace. Who will win in this offline-to-online confrontation? GeekPwn 2018 will reveal all.

Register here, or visit geekpwn.org for more information. Alternatively send an email to the organizers at cfp@geekpwn.org with your questions. We await you in the arena!

TechNode Guest Editors represent the best our community has to offer: insight and perspective on how technology is affecting business and culture in China

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