Korean Team Wins DARPA Robot Competition
A team from Korea wins the DARPA Robotics Challenge Finals. The competition was held at the Fairplex in Pomona, California. Teams get only one day of rehearsal at the event site followed by two full days of head-to-head competition in front of thousands of spectators.
The top prize is $2 million and it goes to Team Kaist of Daejeon, Republic of Korea, and its robot DRC-Hubo. Coming in second and taking home $1 million is Team IHMC Robotics of Pensacola, Fla., and its robot Running Man. The third place finisher, earning the $500,000 prize, is Tartan Rescue of Pittsburgh, and its robot CHIMP.
DARPA program manager and DRC organizer Gill Pratt congratulated all 23 participating teams and thanked them for helping to open a new era of partnership between robots and humans.
"These robots are big and made of lots of metal and you might assume people seeing them would be filled with fear and anxiety," Pratt said. "But we heard groans of sympathy when those robots fell. And what did people do every time a robot scored a point? They cheered! It's an extraordinary thing, and I think this is one of the biggest lessons from DRC—the potential for robots not only to perform technical tasks for us, but to help connect people to one another."
The robots had to complete a difficult course of eight tasks relevant to disaster response, among them driving alone, walking through rubble, tripping circuit breakers, turning valves and climbing stairs. A dozen teams from the United States and another eleven from Japan, Germany, Italy, Republic of Korea and Hong Kong competed in the outdoor competition.
"This is the end of the DARPA Robotics Challenge but only the beginning of a future in which robots can work alongside people to reduce the toll of disasters," said DARPA Director Arati Prabhakar. "I am so proud of all the teams that participated and know that the community that the DRC has helped to catalyze will do great things in the years ahead."
DARPA has also held an event looking for a self-driving car: