We’ve just arrived at the DARPA Robotics Challenge Finals in Pomona, Calif. It’s the day before the Finals starts, and the Expo is setting up, teams are testing robots, and DARPA is making sure that the courses are ready to go. We’ll have a detailed post on the rules and course this evening, but the first thing we did was snap the pic above to give you a look at what it’s going to be like. Our first reaction? The overall course is shorter than we expected, and only as challenging as it needs to be: robots will have a real chance at getting through these tasks successfully, and that’s awesome.
According to the schedule that we just got, there will be a media briefing and tour tonight at 6 p.m. PDT The opening ceremony starts at 7 a.m. tomorrow, with the competition kicking off at 8 a.m. Every evening, there will be post-competition media briefings (we’ll be at those, of course), and the top three teams will be announced Saturday night around 7 p.m. (although we’ll likely know who the winners will be by Saturday afternoon). And on Sunday, there’s a DARPA post-finals workshop all day that we’ll be covering as well.
As far as today goes, here’s what you can expect from us: later today (or this evening), we’ll have posts on the course, tasks, and rules, as well as a post detailing all the best ways to stay up to date with the DRC Finals if you’re not going to be here in person, incuding online video streaming options. We’ll also have more pics, and probably an article or two on some especially cool things that we got a sneak peek of at the DRC expo.
Don’t forget, if you need some background on what to expect, we’ve got tons of information posted already:
- Pre-DRC Finals Video Post: What to Expect from the World's Most Sophisticated Robots
- DARPA Robotics Challenge Finals: Know Your Robots
- ATLAS DRC Robot Is 75 Percent New, Completely Unplugged
- DARPA Robotics Challenge Trials: What We Learned on Day 1
- DARPA Robotics Challenge Trials: Day 2 and The Future
- Lots, lots more
And if there are things that you’re particularly interested in, questions you want us to ask the teams, or things that you heard about at the expo that you want us to check out for you, just leave a comment and we’ll get right to it.
[ DRC Finals ]
Evan Ackerman is a senior editor at IEEE Spectrum. Since 2007, he has written over 6,000 articles on robotics and technology. He has a degree in Martian geology and is excellent at playing bagpipes.
Erico Guizzo is the digital product manager at IEEE Spectrum. He oversees the operation, integration, and new feature development for all digital properties and platforms, including the Spectrum website, newsletters, CMS, editorial workflow systems, and analytics and AI tools. He’s the cofounder of the IEEE Robots Guide, an award-winning interactive site about robotics. An IEEE Member, he is an electrical engineer by training and has a master’s degree in science writing from MIT.