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DARPA Announces Eight Robotics Challenge Trials Winners

January 7, 2014
By George I. Seffers
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  • Ian, an Atlas robot with IHMC Robotics, successfully cuts a hole in a wall—a common action that human first responders perform. IHMC Robotics won the Cut Through Wall task and ranked second overall in the competition.
  • Team SCHAFT raises the arms of its S-One robot in victory after successfully completing the Climb Industrial Ladder task at the DRC Trials. SCHAFT won that task along with three others and scored the most points of any team at the event.
  • CHIMP, the CMU (Carnegie Mellon University) Highly Intelligent Mobile Platform, carries a fire hose to connect it to a wall spigot. The robot from the Tartan Rescue team, CHIMP came in third overall in the competition.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) selected eight teams eligible to receive up to $1 million to continue their work following the conclusion of the agency’s Robotics Challenge trials. These top teams will now prepare for the finals, which will occur at some point in the next 12-18 months. The robots performed a series of eight simple tasks, such as walking a short distance or cutting a hole in a wall, at the Homestead-Miami Speedway, Homestead, Florida. DARPA designed the tasks to simulate what a future robot might have to do to safely enter and effectively work inside a disaster zone. The tasks tested autonomous perception, autonomous decision-making, mounted and dismounted mobility, dexterity and strength.

The scores, out of a total of 32 points, were:

  • 27 points: SCHAFT (SCHAFT Inc., Tokyo)
  • 20 points: IHMC Robotics (Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition, Pensacola, Florida)
  • 18 points: Tartan Rescue (Carnegie Mellon University, National Robotics Engineering Center, Pittsburgh)
  • 16 points: Team MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, Boston)
  • 14 points: RoboSimian (NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Los Angeles)
  • 11 points: Team TRACLabs (TRACLabs Inc., Webster, Texas)
  • 11 points: WPI Robotics Engineering C-Squad (Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, Massachusetts)
  • 9 points: Team Trooper (Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Laboratories, Cherry Hill, New Jersey)

Check out the "DARPA Robotics Challenge Trials Day Two Wrap" video for a closer look:

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