Video Friday: Meet the DARPA Robotics Challenge Teams

These are the teams facing off at the DRC Trials

1 min read
Video Friday: Meet the DARPA Robotics Challenge Teams

UPDATED 12/21/13: DARPA posted more team profile videos, and we've included them below.

The DARPA Robotics Challenge Trials officially kicked off this morning, and you can actually watch some of the action in real time directly from the Homestead Miami Speedway, thanks to DARPA's live feeds. (Don't be disappointed if nothing much is happening when you tune in; that's how it's supposed to be, so be patient and soon you'll see robots doing things, or at least trying to do things.) DARPA has also been posting video profiles of the DRC teams, and that's what we'll bring you today in this special edition of Video Friday. And keep checking back for our continuing coverage of the DRC Trials!

 

 

Meet DRC Team Schaft

 

 

Meet DRC Team KAIST

 

 

Meet DRC Team DRC-Hubo

 

 

Meet DRC Team MIT

 

 

Meet DRC Team HKU

 

 

Meet DRC Team Chiron

 

 

Meet DRC Team Robosimian

 

 

Meet DRC Team Tartan Rescue

 

 

Meet DRC Team Mojavaton

 

 

Meet DRC Team THOR

 

 

Meet DRC Team TROOPER

 

 

Meet DRC Team ViGiR

 

 

Meet DRC Team NASA JSC Valkyrie

 

 

Meet DRC Team TRACLabs

 

 

Meet DRC Team WRECS WPI

 

 

[ DARPAtv ]

The Conversation (0)

How the U.S. Army Is Turning Robots Into Team Players

Engineers battle the limits of deep learning for battlefield bots

11 min read
Robot with threads near a fallen branch

RoMan, the Army Research Laboratory's robotic manipulator, considers the best way to grasp and move a tree branch at the Adelphi Laboratory Center, in Maryland.

Evan Ackerman
LightGreen

“I should probably not be standing this close," I think to myself, as the robot slowly approaches a large tree branch on the floor in front of me. It's not the size of the branch that makes me nervous—it's that the robot is operating autonomously, and that while I know what it's supposed to do, I'm not entirely sure what it will do. If everything works the way the roboticists at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) in Adelphi, Md., expect, the robot will identify the branch, grasp it, and drag it out of the way. These folks know what they're doing, but I've spent enough time around robots that I take a small step backwards anyway.

This article is part of our special report on AI, “The Great AI Reckoning.”

The robot, named RoMan, for Robotic Manipulator, is about the size of a large lawn mower, with a tracked base that helps it handle most kinds of terrain. At the front, it has a squat torso equipped with cameras and depth sensors, as well as a pair of arms that were harvested from a prototype disaster-response robot originally developed at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory for a DARPA robotics competition. RoMan's job today is roadway clearing, a multistep task that ARL wants the robot to complete as autonomously as possible. Instead of instructing the robot to grasp specific objects in specific ways and move them to specific places, the operators tell RoMan to "go clear a path." It's then up to the robot to make all the decisions necessary to achieve that objective.

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