U.S. Department of Defense Gears Up For Robot Contest

posted on by Lynzee Loveridge

The worlds of Patlabor, Gundam, and Bubblegum Crisis are coming closer to reality. The U.S. Department of Defense's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) will soon be holding their annual international contest for robotics teams to show off their latest creations. A total of 25 robots from Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, China, South Korea, and the United States will compete in a series of trials to find out which could best assist during disasters. The contest will be held at Fairplex in Pomona, California on June 5-6.

Robots will need to complete a series of tasks including walking 30 feet (10 meters) in a debris-filled environment and activating an emergency switch, hook up wires, cut a hole through a wall, climb up a set of a stairs, and exit a building. An undisclosed task will also be required, but it's a secret from competitors. Organizers will intentionally degrade communication between the teams and their robots to mimic disaster scenarios. As a result, the robots must be able to act on their own in some capacity. The time limit is one hour and the team that earns the most points from completing the tasks will win.

The three teams whose robots earn the most points will win a combined US$3.5 million. Competitors include NASA's RoboSimian, Germany's Momaro, and South Korea's THORMANG 2, while seven others are using Boston Dynamic's Atlas robot but with their own developed software.

The U.S. Department of Defense held its first Robotics Challenge in 2012. You can check out some highlights from last year's competition below or watch the full 10 hour broadcast on YouTube.

Thanks to Daniel Zelter for the news tip

Source: Yahoo! News

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