timothy from the isaac-hayes-soundtrack dept.
savuporo writes "The two days of DARPA's humanoid robotics challenge are now over. 16 teams entered in three categories — custom built humanoid, DARPA supplied Atlas platform, and a non-humanoid form — and competed in eight different tasks. The all-Japanese SCHAFT team scored 27 out of 32 maximum points, followed by IHMC Robotics and Tartan Rescue, with 20 and 18 points. The tasks included challenges like driving a vehicle, climbing ladders and walls, using handheld tools to cut through walls, etc. All robots had a mix of autonomy and teleoperated controls to accomplish the tasks. Full details on scores can be found here. The eight teams that scored highest will get continued funding from DARPA to compete in the final challenge in 2014. Two NASA teams also entered, and the JPL-built non-humanoid RoboSimian placed 5th, whereas the JSC built and touted 'Valkyrie' came out of competition with zero points. Team SCHAFT and Boston Dynamics (building the Atlas platform) were recently acquired by Google."
Reader mikejuk says the scores "[make] the performance sound better than it actually was": " Each task could take 30 minutes and most of the robots took their time and moved as slow as ice. It seems that the teams were precomputing every move and taking a lot of time rather than getting on with the task as quickly as possible. As a result there is farther to go in creating useful rescue bots than the scores might suggest."
One has to look out for engineers -- they begin with sewing machines
and end up with the atomic bomb.
-- Marcel Pagnol