Robots Assemble for Military’s $2 Million Challenge

DARPA wants robots that are able to eventually do many things humans can

A headless humanoid robot clambers noisily through an obstacle course with the grim, unfeeling purpose of a terminator. Luckily, it’s just the latest video celebrating the official start of a U.S. military challenge to create robots that can work alongside humans in disaster scenarios.

Seven robot designs star in the early lineup chosen by U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency for its $2 million DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC), according to an agency announcement on Oct. 24. They include a two-legged descendant of NASA’s Robonaut that is currently assisting astronauts aboard the International Space Station, a new Guardian humanoid robot based on Raytheon’s military exoskeleton suits, and a small Korean Hubo robot that has featured in many YouTube videos.

“Just as natural and man-made disasters are common worldwide challenges, what the response to the DRC has shown is that the international robotics community shares a common goal of advancing robotic technology to the point where it can have a tangible and positive impact on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief,” said Gill Pratt, DARPA program manager for the competition.

The Pentagon’s DARPA wants robots that are able to eventually do many things humans can — such as opening a door by using the handle, climbing a ladder or even wielding power tools to break through walls. Such robots must also have the capability to handle steering, accelerating and braking from the driver’s seat of a vehicle.

Read more . . .

via TechNews Daily

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The Latest Streaming News: DARPA Robotics Challenge updated minute-by-minute

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