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Japan’s SCHAFT Dominates DARPA Robotics Challenge Trials: Shut Yo’ Mouth!

by Paul Strauss

DARPA’s Robotic Challenge Trials wrapped up earlier today, and the robot that reigned supreme is SCHAFT. The squat 209 pound, 4.85 foot-tall robot smoked the competition, scoring 27 points, besting its next closest competitor by 35% in overall points.

schaft_robot_winszoom in

The challenge is focused on demonstrating advancements in robotics which could improve disaster response efforts. For the competition, the bipedal humanoid robots had to perform each of the following tasks:

  1. Drive a utility vehicle at the site.
  2. Travel dismounted across rubble.
  3. Remove debris blocking an entryway.
  4. Open a door and enter a building.
  5. Climb an industrial ladder and traverse an industrial walkway.
  6. Use a tool to break through a concrete panel.
  7. Locate and close a valve near a leaking pipe.
  8. Connect a fire hose to a standpipe and turn on a valve.

In the end, SCHAFT beat out numerous teams from DARPA’s home nation, taking the top spot in the terrain, ladder, debris, and fire hose tasks.

schaft_robot_climbszoom in

schaft_robot_debriszoom in

Here’s  Team SCHAFT explaining a bit about what makes their robot special:

The time-compressed footage shown below is SCHAFT practicing its tasks prior to this weekend’s event.

Florida Institute for Human & Machine Cognition’s (IMHC Robotics) robot did quite well, coming in second place, taking first place in the door and wall challenges.

While it’s the end of the line for some of the robots, the top eight teams will get funded to move on to the final rounds in 2014.

[via LiveScience]




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