DARPA, which caught widespread attention when its Cheetah-based Wild Cat robot went viral, has announced that a total of seventeen teams have qualified for the DARPA Robotics Challenge Trials. With this latest statement, four additional teams have built complete robotic systems, joining thirteen existing teams later this month to have their robots tested at the Homestead-Miami Speedway.
The four new teams are comprised of Team Chiron, which hails from Sandy, Utah; Team KAIST, from Daejon, Republic of Korea; Intelligent Pioneer from Changzhou, Jiangshu, China; and Team Mojavaton from Grand Junction, Colorado. Together with the other teams, the groups will be tested in eight physical-based tests that are, for the curious among us, listed on DARPA's website.
The goal behind the trials and challenge in general is to spur the development of technology that can provide much-needed assistance in a variety of future disasters, whether they're man-made or nature's doing. Areas tested will include autonomous decision-making and perception, strength, dexterity, and mounted and dismounted mobility.
DRC Program Manager Gill Pratt said: "The DARPA Robotics Challenge was designed to catalyze the robotics community to help mitigate the effects of future disasters, so it is rewarding to see such diverse, international participation. DARPA structured the challenge to encourage participation by experts in hardware and software alike since both fields are necessary to provide a realistic baseline on the current state of robotics. The diversity of approaches we expect to see demonstrated at the DRC Trials will mark the beginning of an important transformation in robotics, and these approaches will be further refined going into the DRC Finals in 2014.”
The trials are both open to the public and free to watch, and will include demonstrations of the aforementioned Cheetah robot.