DARPA Robotics Challenge seeks disaster response robots

Disasters happen, but humans have made great strides toward reducing their impact. Robots will prove to be one of the bigger assets we'll use to aid in future disaster situations, and work is underway now to make that a reality. DARPA has contributed a lot to the world of robotics, and to show off the tech that already exists is DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC); its finals are taking place today and tomorrow in California. Teams competing in the finals will scramble to create robots that, ultimately, have a relevance to disaster response needs.

Two dozen teams from around the globe are competing in the finals, which involves creating robots that can help humans when disaster strikes, whether it is a natural disaster or one that is man-made. The teams are given a short amount of time to come up with software, hardware, control interfaces, and sensors, says DARPA.

The developments must meet DARPA's requirements, with the robots being required to accomplish tasks DARPA has decided upon revolving around disaster response. The challenges serve to demonstrate the robot's usefulness for those particular scenarios.

There are about 70 displays set up at the event for interested parties to check out robotic tech and disaster response needs. The finals are taking place at the Fairplex in Pomona, and is free for the public to attend. DARPA specifically notes that kids and families are welcomed in addition to students.