AWS Public Sector Blog

Register now for the AWS DeepRacer Army-Navy Competition

There is a friendly rivalry between the armed services of the US Department of Defense (DoD), and the oldest of these rivalries is between the US Army and the US Navy. The rivalry will be taken to the racetrack in December when Army and Navy affiliated teams compete in the second Amazon Web Services (AWS) DeepRacer Army-Navy Competition. In the competition, teams train a robotic vehicle to see whose car can autonomously navigate a track with the fastest time, using artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics. The second annual competition will happen on December 11, 2021, prior to the Army-Navy football game. The event is open to anyone affiliated with the Army or Navy: soldier, sailor, Marine, civilian, or contractor. Registration for the event is open now.

Get hands on experience with machine learning with AWS DeepRacer

AWS DeepRacer is a competition for all skill levels that helps participants get hands-on experience with machine learning (ML) through a cloud-based three-dimensional (3D) racing simulation. The competition uses an autonomous 1/18th scale race car designed to test reinforcement learning (RL) to model racing on a physical track. RL is an advanced ML technique that is based on obtaining rewards for learning a new task. It generates its own experience data from an environment to maximize returns. The training of a RL model requires a lot of data gathered through numerous repetitions of the task on which it is training. To reduce the time required to train a model, and to reduce software bugs in deployment, engineers employ simulation to run multiple iterations of the robot’s task simultaneously in a virtual environment. Just like the engineers developing defense robotics applications, AWS DeepRacer competitors work with a simulated vehicle to more swiftly and cost effectively train their models. That simulation is powered by AWS RoboMaker, an application that translates the physics and mechanics of a real-life system into a computer model.

The AWS DeepRacer Army-Navy Competition is for anyone affiliated with the US Army or US Navy, no matter their experience with AI, ML, or robotics. Novices can get started with ML quickly with hands-on tutorials, learning asynchronously through a self-paced course before coming together virtually for a workshop on November 15, where they will develop a RL model using Amazon SageMaker and refine it on a simulated track using the power of AWS RoboMaker—no real-world vehicle required. At the end of the workshop, participants will compete in separate service-specific community races. The top competitors from the community races will compete in the finals on December 11.

Registration is now open

In the first AWS DeepRacer Army-Navy competition this past spring, the Navy came out strong, capturing the top five lap times. Who will win this year? Register by November 8, 2021.

Learn more about AWS DeepRacer, machine learning, and robotics on AWS. To learn more about AWS Robotics for the DoD, please reach out to Dave Bader at davbader@amazon.

Read more stories about artificial intelligence and machine learning on AWS for defense. Check out more defense stories here.

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