A Guide to All 24 Robots Competing at the DARPA Robotics Challenge 2015 Finals This Weekend.
The competition begins! This weekend, twenty-four international teams are participating in the DARPA Robotics Challenge Finals, in which robots designed to complete a series of disaster related-activities are challenged to finish a series of tasks in the shortest amount of time.
The robots will have to perform eight tasks:
- Driving a car
- Getting out of the car
- Opening and walking through a door
- Opening a valve
- Using a drill to cut a hole on a wall
- Crossing a debris-filled terrain
- Climbing up steps
- Plus one mystery event designed to catch the teams off guard.
The teams involved in this Pentagon-backed event are competing for cash prizes (the winning team receives two million dollars, the runner up one million, and third place five hundred thousand) as well as a contribution to the future of robotics and paving the way for the use of robotics in disaster relief efforts. It's hoped that the work being carried out by the finalists can one day help lead to robots that are able to save lives in disaster zones considered too dangerous for human aid efforts.
DARPA Robotics Challenge 2015 Finals Live Stream
You can watch a live stream of the weekend's event in the player above, but before you do, take the time to get to know the 24 robots who are competing in the DARPA Robotics Challenge 2015 Finals.
Created By: TARTAN RESCUE
From Carnegie Mellon University, an earlier design of CHIMP won third place in the 2013 Challenge, and is considered one of the favorites with a 360° sensor suite feeding a 3D model of the surroundings, rubberized tracks to roll over rough terrain, and three-fingered grippers to give it a human-like dexterity.
Created By: TEAM AERO
This team of engineers emphasizes their robot's flexibility, and with four legs it should be able to keep balance and maintain mobility, while the team states that their goal was to "develop a robot that is both beautiful and sleek."
Created By: TEAM AIST-NEDO
This team from the National Institute of Industrial Science and Technology, Japan, has a history of developing humanoid robots for a variety of uses. This improved version of an earlier model is designed specifically for disaster response and has a range of motion mimicking the ability of a human.
Created By: TEAM ROBOSIMIAN
NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab built this simian-inspired robot, guided by the principles of modularity, dexterity, and field ability. The team has alumni from all three DARPA Grand Challenges.
Country: USA Created
By: TEAM DRC-HUBO @UNLV
A University of Nevada Las Vegas effort, this Track D robot is a modified version of a robot tested in early trials. Its strength has been significantly upgraded, but it remains to be seen if Metal Rebel has enough to be a competitor.
Created By: TEAM GRIT
This Colorado team of undergraduate students, professors, and professional engineers have a history at DARPA, and won thirteenth place at the 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge.
Created By: TEAM HECTOR
The team based at the Department of Computer Science of Technische Universitat created their robot based on the THOR-MANG platform from ROBOTIS, adding a self-designed sensor head for greater object detection. After DRC, Team Hector will open source their software developments to contribute to worldwide research in humanoid disaster relief robots.
Country: HONG KONG & USA
Created By: TEAM HKU
One of many ATLAS robots developed by Boston Dynamics, this team of professors, researchers, and students specialize robot vision, motion planning, and more, and have worked in areas such as computer vision and artificial intelligence. You'll be seeing a lot of teams utilizing the ATLAS platform over the weekend.
Created By: TEAM HRP2-TOKYO
This team comprised of researchers and students were/are all majors in robotics, with a focus on humanoids developed for practical uses. The robot was developed by KAWADA industries.
RUNNING MAN (ATLAS)
Created By: TEAM IHMC ROBOTICS
A Track B team from the Institute of Human and Machine Cognition in Pensacola, FL, has been advancing the study of walking and balancing for humanoid robots. Another ATLAS design, they claim they have overhauled many of their systems since the Trials.
Country: SOUTH KOREA
Created By: TEAM KAIST
Developed by Rainbow Co. and KAIST, DRC-Hubo is the latest version of HUBO, a design that has been in development since 2002. This particular model claims to be the most powerful and capable yet, and DRC-HUBO is considered one of the favorites to win this year's competition.
Created By: TEAM MIT
From the MIT engineering department, including competitors in the 2006-7 DARPA Urban Challenge, comes another version of the ATLAS robot. Whenever the folks at MIT are involved, it's always wise to expect a few surprises.
Created By: TEAM NEDO-HYDRA
The University of Tokyo, Chiba Institute of Technology, Osaka University, and Kobe University created this team to combine their specific skills in robotic developments in order to create a completely new type of humanoid robot.
Created By: TEAM NEDO-JSK
This team from the JSK lab for robotics at the University of Tokyo is sponsored by NEDO, New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization, Japan. The robot is based on the STARO platform, which was developed in the JSK lab.
Created By: TEAM NIMBRO RESCUE
This team from the University of Bonn, Germany, has extensive experience in robotics competitions and challenges, winning thirteen tournaments at the international RoboCup competitions, while the university has a history of robot research including mobile robotics, cognitive robots, and machine learning.
Country: SOUTH KOREA
Created By: TEAM ROBOTIS
From Korea Tech University and Korea Robotics Society, ROBOTIS created an upgrade of THOR-OP, with modularity as its main feature.
Country: SOUTH KOREA
Created By: TEAM SNU
Using THORMANG developed by ROBOTIS, this team from Seoul National University is composed of Dynamic Robotic Systems Lab, Machine Intelligence and Pattern Analysis Lab, and SimLab.
Created By: TEAM THOR
Team THOR comes from the Robotics and Mechanisms Lab at the University of California, Los Angeles, and the General Robotics, Automation, Sensing and Perceptions Lab at the University of Philadelphia. The two schools participated together at RoboCup and have been the world champions four years in a row. THOR-RD is an evolution of an earlier robot THOR-OP, designed for easy transportation and maintenance.
Created By: TEAM TRAC LABS
A small business run team, TRACLabs focused their robotic development to rely on human intelligence for high-level decision making, treating the competition primarily as a matter of system integration. TRACLabs has provided robotics and artificial intelligence support of NASA's Johnson Space Center and the Department of Defense.
Created By: TEAM VALOR
Created by engineering students at Virginia Tech, they collaborated with team VIGIR on software development. This team placed 3rd in the DARPA Urban Challenge and Virginia Tech was one of the top 10 finalists in the Multi-Autonomous Ground-robotic international Challenge 2010. One to watch.
Created By: TEAM TROOPER
This team from Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Laboratories had a top placement in the 2007 DARPA Urban Challenge and partnerships with University of Pennsylvania and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and works to achieve collaboration between robots and human operators.
Country: USA & GERMANY
Created By: TEAM VIGIR
FLORIAN is a collaborative project by researchers from TORC Robotics, Technische Universitat Darmstadt, Virginia Tech, Oregon State University, Cornell University, and Leibniz University Hanover. Their focus is on developing innovative control concepts for directions under constrained communications.
Created By: TEAM WPI-CMU The Worcester Polytechnic Institute and Carnegie Mellon University students, engineers, and professors combined forces to create a robot using their expertise in robotics software, perception, engineering, and more.
Created By: TEAM WALK-MAN
Walk-man was developed by the Italian Institute of Technology and University of Pisa in Italy. There are big plans for the Walk-Man design in the future, and the robot participating is considered a prototype. This could be one to keep an eye on for future competitions.