Robot gladiators take on disaster course

Humanoid robots battle it out in DARPA Robotics Challenge.
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Image courtesy Sharon Gaudin

DARPA Robotics Challenge

The DARPA Robotics Challenge pitted 16 teams against each other to see who could build the smartest, most stable and capable robot that will one day work with humans for disaster response. Teams from NASA (robot shown here), Worcester Polytechnic Institute, MIT and Carnegie Mellon University, among others, had their robots perform tasks including climbing stairs, walking over debris and even driving a car.

Team Schaft, based in Japan, dominated the competition with a robot and software they built themselves. Others used Boston Dynamics’ Atlas robot but wrote the software to operate it.

A total of eight teams have moved on to negotiate for government funding and compete in the last phase of the challenge in 2014.

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