Soon after, they established the DARPA Robotics Challenge. The challenge's first event took place in June with 26 teams from eight countries and whose last event will begin at the end of 2014 at the DRC Finals with a winning team, a robot, and a
The competition -- consisting of robot systems and software teams -- was designed to be very difficult, at a time in robot evolution when real robots generally work on stationary bases in factories doing clearly defined repetitive tasks or in controlled laboratory environments, said DRC program manager Dr.
Participating teams, down from 100 when the program began, to 16 at the DRC Trials 2013 held
Eight teams scored the highest number of points for all tasks completed and are headed for the 2014 finals. Pratt said
The qualifying teams were:
1. 27 points, Team SCHAFT, Robot S-One, lead organization:
2. 20 points, Team IHMC Robotics, Robot Atlas-Ian, lead organization:
3. 18 points, Team Tartan Rescue, Robot CHIMP, lead organization:
4. 16 points, Team MIT, Robot Atlas-Helios, lead organization:
5. 14 points, Team RoboSimian, Robot RoboSimian, lead organization:
6. 11 points, Team TRACLabs, Robot Atlas, lead organization:
7. 11 points, Team: WPI Robotics Engineering C Squad (WRECS), Robot Atlas-Warner, lead organization:
8. 9 points, Team Trooper, Robot Atlas, lead organization:
On the first day of the trials, speaking from victory lane next to the race track, DARPA Director
"We will show the world what's possible, what we need to work on, what it's really going to take for robots to step up when disaster strikes," Prabhakar said, adding that the teams would help build a better future with robotic capabilities.
Jyuji Hewitt, deputy director of the
"There are a lot of teams getting a lot of points," he said during a press briefing after the first day of the two-day event. "From our standpoint that shows real progress."
After the closing ceremony, during which Pratt awarded certificates to the eight winning teams, the scientist briefed the press, summing up the DRC's results.
"The technology has shown itself to be more advanced than I had expected -- not by much but by a little bit. The robots were more reliable than we initially expected -- not by a lot but by a little. But that's only half of the picture," he explained.
"We're not quite sure of the [date for the 2014 Finals] yet but we will advance the robots significantly, much more than we have up until now," Pratt said. "We'll see how far we get."
These included driving a utility vehicle over a short course, getting out of the vehicle and walking, removing rubble from a doorway and going through the door, climbing a ladder, using a tool to cut a hole in a wall, opening valves, and pulling a fire hose a short distance and connecting it to a standpipe.
During the finals next year, Pratt said
"We're trying to move it from an engineer's test to an authentic test," he added, "and we're trying to do that at just the right rate so that it matches the maturity of the technology."
Still, Pratt said, "I think we can make the finals a little harder than I had thought."
No matter how the finals turn out, the robot technology will have to be commercialized before it can be used in disaster response and mitigation, he said.
"What the commercial sector can do is to find a market for the technology. It may not be in disaster response, it may be in health care, agriculture or manufacturing. We just don't know," Pratt added.
"But the most important thing is, after
According to its DRC fact sheet,
"Technologies resulting from the DRC will transform the field of robotics," the fact sheet says, "and catapult forward development of robots featuring task-level autonomy that can operate in the hazardous, degraded conditions common in disaster zones."
And of the very successful Florida DRC trials,
TNS 30FurigayJane-131225-4588447 30FurigayJane
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