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Details on DARPA Robotics Challenge Trial Events

See the eight events that the DRC robots will tackle in December

2 min read
Details on DARPA Robotics Challenge Trial Events

When DARPA unveiled the DRC ATLAS robot in the flesh steel earlier today, the agency also released 57 pages of task descriptions detailing the course and tasks that the teams will have to complete in December. We've gone through and put together an overview, and we can also tell you where and when the event will be held: Homestead-Miami Speedway in Florida, on December 20 and 21.

The eight tasks in the DRC Trials will be somewhat similar to, although still significantly different from, the tasks that teams had to complete in the VRC. Each Trial task will be a specific and isolated element of the 2014 Final, which will string all eight tasks together in a much more realistic environment than we'll see this year. We can expect that the tasks as described here will be "similar but in most cases not exactly the same" as the December Trials.

A few other quick notes:

  • There will be several different instances of each Trial so that multiple teams can be running at the same time.
  • Each robot will be tethered to a Polaris Ranger utility vehicle (or something similar) with a generator on it to provide power. I'm wondering whether teams will have to account for the position and movement of the tether when they move their robot around.
  • Only two tasks (ladder climbing and possibly the rough terrain walking) are planned to include a safety harness to prevent the robots from falling over.
  • The general idea here is that teams will build duplicates of all of these tasks to practice on, and provide feedback to DARPA prior to the DRC Trials.

You can read the entire document here, but the cool stuff is summarized below:

Task 1: Drive Utility Vehicle

Task 2: Travel Dismounted

Task 3: Remove Debris Blocking Entry

Task 4: Open Door, Enter Building

Task 5: Climb Industrial Ladder

Task 6: Break Through Wall

Task 7: Locate and Close Valves

Task 8: Carry, Unspool, and Connect Fire Hose



The Conversation (0)

The Bionic-Hand Arms Race

The prosthetics industry is too focused on high-tech limbs that are complicated, costly, and often impractical

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A photograph of a young woman with brown eyes and neck length hair dyed rose gold sits at a white table. In one hand she holds a carbon fiber robotic arm and hand. Her other arm ends near her elbow. Her short sleeve shirt has a pattern on it of illustrated hands.

The author, Britt Young, holding her Ottobock bebionic bionic arm.

Gabriela Hasbun. Makeup: Maria Nguyen for MAC cosmetics; Hair: Joan Laqui for Living Proof

In Jules Verne’s 1865 novel From the Earth to the Moon, members of the fictitious Baltimore Gun Club, all disabled Civil War veterans, restlessly search for a new enemy to conquer. They had spent the war innovating new, deadlier weaponry. By the war’s end, with “not quite one arm between four persons, and exactly two legs between six,” these self-taught amputee-weaponsmiths decide to repurpose their skills toward a new projectile: a rocket ship.

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