DARPA has announced $2 million in prize for its DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC). The goal of this program is to develop robotic technology better designed to respond to natural and man-made disaster situations.
Specifically, the emphasis will be on developing robotic capabilities to navigate disaster environment and perform basic tasks using a variety of human objects. An additional focus will be in advancement in supervised autonomy which would allow effective use of robots in the absence of expert operators or full communication.
Citing disasters such as Fukushima nuclear plant crisis, Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and Chilean Copiapo mine collapse, DARPA’s DRC program seeks to develop ground robots “ capable of executing complex tasks in dangerous, degraded, human-engineered environments” which will prevent putting “health and wellbeing of rescue and aid workers” on the line.
To check out the eight proposed models, go to www.theroboticschallenge.org/robots.php.