DARPA holds robot challenge

April 16, 2012 at 7:59 AM

WASHINGTON, April 16 (UPI) -- A $2 million competition for robots capable of supervised but autonomous response is disaster scenarios is being conducted by the U.S. military.

Robots are used in emergency response, industry, defense, healthcare and education but the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency aims to push robot development beyond current capabilities.

"The work of the global robotics community brought us to this point -- robots do save lives, do increase efficiencies and do lead us to consider new capabilities," said Gill Pratt, DARPA program manager. "What we need to do now is move beyond the state of the art.

"This challenge is going to test supervised autonomy in perception and decision-making, mounted and dismounted mobility, dexterity, strength and endurance in an environment designed for human use but degraded due to a disaster.

"The key to successfully completing this challenge requires adaptable robots with the ability to use available human tools, from hand tools to vehicles," he said.

DARPA's Robotics Challenge, which has both robotics hardware and software development tasks, starts in October and teams are being sought to compete.

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
Volvo unveils new child seat concept
JetBlue first major airline to offer direct New York to Cuba flights
New Zealand military receives medium heavy military trucks
BBC to lay off 1,000 people to make up for $234M in lost revenue
U.S. proposes tighter pipeline spill rules