DARPA has issued another Grand Challenge and this time it’s for humanoid robots. The details aren’t final just yet for the competition. However, unofficial details on the competition are available. These unofficial details come from Dr. Gill Pratt’s talk at DTRA Industry Day. According to his details, the challenge is for preferably bipedal robots.
The contest is specifically looking for designs that can be used on rough terrain and for industrial disasters. The robot would be required to have the agility to maneuver itself into the driver seat and operate an open-frame vehicle such as a tractor. The robots will also have to be able to drive that open frame vehicle to a building and then get out of the vehicle.
Once out of the vehicle, the challenge says the robots would need to be able to unlock a locked door using a key, walk through the open door, and then walk down a 100m long hallway with rubble obstacles. Once at the end of the hallway, the challenge would be to have the robot climb ladder, locate a leaky pipe, and then close that leak by turning a nearby valve. The final stage of the competition would have the robots replacing a pump so the facility could resume normal operations. The robot is expected to accomplish all these feats semi-autonomously with nothing more than supervisory teleoperation from a person. That sounds like a very difficult competition.