Jun08

DARPA Robotics Challenge 2015

2015 at 11:27 am by admin

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Every year since its inception in 2012, the DARPA Robotics Challenge is the latest in the line of DARPA Grand Challenges which have sought to advance the future of robots and technology. DARPA, which stands for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, is an agency of the US Department of Defense that designs robotics and technologies for both military and non-military work, such as computer networking, information interface technology, and life-saving robotics. The latest competition hosted by DARPA sought to challenge engineers and scientists to design robots to navigate and operate in dangerous environments to respond to natural and man-made disasters alike. The competition was founded after the events of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, and the course was designed around situations present during the disaster.

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The event has taken place in multiple stage since 2012, including a virtual challenge in June 2013 and two live challenges. The final event took place over this past weekend at the Fairplex in Pomona, California, pitting 23 teams against each other in a timed course of eight challenges. All challenges, which included traversing over unstable rubble, turning valves, and even driving a car, had to be completed in an hour to qualify. With a grand prize of $2 million, and $1 million and $500,000 for second and third place respectively, colleges and companies from all over the world participated in the event, including representatives from the United States, Japan, Germany, Korea, Hong Kong and Italy.

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In the end, only three of the 23 teams finished the course within the time limit, each earning one of the three top prizes. Third place went to USA’s Team Tartan Rescue from Carnegie Mellon University and their red-colored robot CHIMP, while Team IHMC took second with the running man Atlas. The grand prize of $2 million dollars was won by Team KAIST from South Korea, thanks to their transforming DRC-HUBO robot, who managed to finish the entire course in under 45 minutes! With the years-long competition finally coming to a close, DARPA hopes all the innovations and technologies developed throughout the event will be put to use in saving human lives in the future.

More info: http://www.theroboticschallenge.org/

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