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Robotics Government United States Technology

Official Details For the DARPA Robotics Challenge 61

An anonymous reader writes "The DARPA Robotics Challenge is offering tens of million of dollars in funding to teams from anywhere in the world to build robots capable of performing complex mobility and manipulation tasks such as walking over rubble and operating power tools. It all will culminate in an audacious competition with robots driving trucks, breaking through walls, and attempting to perform repairs in a simulated industrial-disaster setting. The winner takes all: a $2 million cash prize."
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Official Details For the DARPA Robotics Challenge

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  • Immenant Disaster... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Missing.Matter ( 1845576 ) on Tuesday April 10, 2012 @02:57PM (#39635209)

    This is classic DARPA... while these grand challenges are good for focusing research initiatives, they tend to ask for much more than the field can offer in a reasonable amount of time given the funds. Look at the first grand challenge: not a single team finished the race, and even the best team from the best school with the most funding only finished 12km of the proposed 240km course.

    It was an utter embarrassment. Only after they relaxed the requirements in 2005 of the competition to more accurately reflect what was humanly (or more aptly roboticly) possible at the time was the competition a success.

    Now they're expecting a full-on humanoid that can drive a car, bust down walls, move rubble, operate tools, all in unstructured environments? Look at the DARPA ARM grand challenge, where the state of the art could barely do these kinds of manipulations in a controlled well-lit laboratory.

    On the other hand, I suppose if they're allowing teleoperation/assisted autonomy that makes things a lot easier. I guess I just don't want a repeat of the collective embarrassment of the robotics community that happened in 2004.

  • by ciantic ( 626550 ) on Tuesday April 10, 2012 @03:34PM (#39635649)
    From the IEEE-Article: "What’s more, the early reports incorrectly asserted that, because the challenge seems so difficult, teams were not expected to succeed the first time around. This is not the case, Pratt said. 'The challenge will be adjusted as we get experience with the teams over this first phase,' he said. 'What we’re going to make sure is that the challenge is difficult but not impossible.'"

Heuristics are bug ridden by definition. If they didn't have bugs, then they'd be algorithms.