DARPA Robotics Challenge Will See 25 Robots Competing Against Each Other

DARPA Robotics Challenge Will See 25 Robots Competing Against Each Other


The highly anticipated competition between 25 robots built by the most brilliant minds around the world will take place this June in California.

The DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC) Finals, a competition of robots and their human supervisors is to be held on June 5-6, 2015, at Fairplex in Pomona, California, outside of Los Angeles. In the competition, human-robot teams will be tested on capabilities that could enable them to provide assistance in future natural and man-made disasters.

The event is sponsored by The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and it aims to find new technologies for assistance during natural or man-made disasters. This year it has attracted 25 teams from around the world to battle head-to-head for $3.5 million in cash prices.

Gill Pratt, Program Manager for the DRC, said, “We’re excited to see so much international interest in the DARPA Robotics Challenge Finals. We’re looking forward to seeing how the teams ensure the robustness of their robots against falls, strategically manage battery power, and build enough partial autonomy into the robots to complete the challenge tasks despite DARPA deliberately degrading the communication links between robots and operators.”

In the competition, the teams will have one hour to make their robots drive a vehicle to the disaster zone and walk 30 feet to a field of obstacles, after which they must rotate a circular valve, hook up wires, cut a hole in a wall, climb up stairs, and exit a building. There will also be one surprise task that teams won’t be able to prepare for. The teams get points for each task they complete.

The competition will require the communications links between the robots and the human controllers be degraded, so that the bots will need to be semiautonomous in order to succeed. The teams will also be expected to create robots that are untethered and must be able to recover from a fall in the finals, adding a layer of difficulty. It will also require the robots to have their own power source.