DARPA Takes Robots to Disaster Mitigation Trials ~Cheryl Pellerin, American Forces Press Service

Posted on December 22, 2013 By

17 teams will take their multi-limbed, capable-looking robots through eight realistic disaster-response tasks that will make up the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Robotics Challenge Trials Dec. 21-22 at Florida’s Homestead-Miami Speedway.

The best performers will determine the baseline for the state of robotics, Dr. Gill Pratt, DARPA’s Robotics Challenge program manager, said during a recent teleconference. And DARPA will fund up to eight of the highest-scoring teams for another year as they move on to the DRC Finals in 2014, after which one team will receive a $2 million prize.

“The purpose of the program is to develop technology that can help make us much more robust to natural and manmade disasters,” Pratt explained.

“In particular,” he added, “we’re looking at robotic technology that can allow us to mitigate the extent of a disaster during the first hours and days while the disaster is still unfolding.” Read more.

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