DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC) – a competition of robot systems and software teams vying to develop robots capable of assisting humans in responding to natural and man-made disasters. It was designed to be extremely difficult. Participating teams, representing some of the most advanced robotics research and development organizations in the world, are collaborating and innovating on a very short timeline to develop the hardware, software, sensors, and human-machine control interfaces that will enable their robots to complete a series of challenge tasks selected by DARPA for their relevance to disaster response.
- DARP Robotics Challenge Finals are to be held in June 2015 in California. Robots entered into the competition will have to drive a car, navigate around an obstacle course, cut a hole in a wall, clear debris, operate a valve and successfully complete many other tasks.
DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC) – promoting innovation in human-supervised robotic technology for disaster-response operations.
The primary technical goal of the DRC is to develop human-supervised ground robots capable of executing complex tasks in dangerous, degraded, human-engineered environments. Competitors in the DRC are developing robots that can utilize standard tools and equipment commonly available in human environments, ranging from hand tools to vehicles.
To achieve its goal, the DRC is advancing the state of the art of supervised autonomy, mounted and dismounted mobility, and platform dexterity, strength, and endurance. Improvements in supervised autonomy, in particular, aim to enable better control of robots by non-expert supervisors and allow effective operation despite degraded communications (low bandwidth, high latency, intermittent connection).
- JPL enters RoboSimian in the 2015 DARPA Robotics Challenge Finals – designed to operate in close-quarters disaster areas, such as damaged nuclear reactors, that are too dangerous for human relief workers. The idea is a robot that can negotiate broken ground, go up stairs and ladders, and carry out tasks using tools at hand, such as clearing debris, opening doors, or operating valves. RoboSimian looks like a nightmarish cross between a chimpanzee and a spider.