Japanese Robotics Team 'Schaft' Wins The DRC Trials

A few days ago we had talked about the Darpa Robotics Challenge while discussing about NASA’s humanoid robot #-Link-Snipped-#. While the impressive looking Valkyrie ended the trials with a disappointing score of naught, a Japanese robotics start-up which is now owned by Google managed to secure the first place by obtaining a total score of 27 points out of possible score of 32. The competition organised by the research wing of the Pentagon was designed to test the capabilities of robots in assisting humans responding to natural and man-made disasters. Sixteen teams from around the world had to complete eight tasks within a time-limit of 30 minutes for each.


The tasks ranged from simple ones like opening a lever-handled door to complex ones like driving a utility vehicle along a course. Team Schaft managed to perform very well in all the challenges but it lost some points in the door challenge when the door was blown away from the robot’s grasp and in the driving challenge when it could not get out of the utility vehicle on its own. Schaft even managed to win best performer award in four tasks. If you wish to take a look at how Schaft and other teams fared in all the challenges you can head over to DARPAtv - YouTube to have a look. You need patience (and lot of streaming) to appreciate the performance of these robots because the full length videos are about 10 hours long. If you are running short of time, we have embedded the short wrap up video of the final day below.

The top eight teams will receive $1 million each in funding from DARPA and it is not ‘game over’ for the rest of the teams as they will get a second chance to perform at the DRC finals scheduled to be held in 2014.

Source: Google's Schaft robot wins Darpa rescue challenge - BBC News


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