Team KAIST Wins DARPA Robotics Challenge

Photo: Evan Ackerman/IEEE Spectrum
Professor Jun Ho Oh and his team with DARPA program manager Gill Pratt.

It was a nail-biting final round as the top teams of the DARPA Robotics Challenge Finals tried to catch up with Team KAIST, which earlier today had completed a perfect run, scoring the maximum 8 points in 44:28 minutes. Two teams also scored 8 points, but Team KAIST, from South Korea, had the best time, winning the top spot and the US $2 million grand prize.

KAIST’s robot, called DRC-HUBO, was a bipedal humanoid. But unlike other humanoids, such as the ATLAS robot used by several other teams, DRC-HUBO had modifications, including wheels on its knees, that allowed it to perform tasks faster and, perhaps more importantly, avoid falls. (Read our in-depth article on how DRC-HUBO helped Team KAIST take first place in the competition.)

Team IHMC Robotics finished second, winning $1 million. Tartan Rescue came in third, and will take home $500,000. Both were among the favorite teams, based on their strong performances on Day 1 of the Finals.

The KAIST team is led by Jun Ho Oh, a professor at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, in Daejeon, South Korea, and one of the world’s top experts in humanoid robots. He and his team have been improving their robot HUBO over several generations.

The robot they built for the DRC Finals was specifically designed for the competition. We’re working on a post explaining the key features of the robot, and how they helped the South Korean team win the DRC Finals.

Congratulations to Team KAIST and all other teams!

P.S.: Below are the final scores for all teams:




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