DARPA Robotics Challenge Opens The Door To Innovation



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DARPA Robotics Challenge, or DRC has gathered teams that will compete to develop and test hardware and software designed to enable robots to assist humans in emergency response when a disaster strikes. Gill Pratt, DARPA program manager for the DRC reports that, “One of DARPA’s goals for the Challenge is to catalyze robotics development across all fields so that we as a community end up with more capable, more affordable robots that are easier to operate. The value of a cloud-based simulator is that it gives talent from any location a common space to train, design, test and collaborate on ideas without the need for expensive hardware and prototyping. That opens the door to innovation.” The DRC Simulator will be the focus of the Track B (funded) and Track C (unfunded) teams, and the team that does the best will receive one of six ATLAS robots after the first virtual challenge event to continue on to compete with real hardware. The Track D  invites teams from around the world to develop disaster robots to compete in the Challenge without any funding from DARPA.  The seven Track A teams (Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) – National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC),  Drexel University, Raytheon, SCHAFT Inc., Virginia Tech, NASA Johnson Space Center, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory) are currently working on creating their own hardware, which may prove the most interesting part of the DRC,  have a look at their projects below. You can learn more about the DARPA Robotics Challenge at spectrum.ieee.org.

CHIMP (CMU Highly Intelligent Mobile Platform): 

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Bipedal robot Hubo:

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The Guardian Robot:

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Intelligent Robot Kernel:

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THOR (Tactical Hazardous Operations Robot):

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The Next-Generation Robonaut:

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RoboSimian:

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