Meet the robotic contestants in the DARPA Robotic Challenge (DRC). Click image below to start slideshow.
The Defense Advanced Project Agency (DARPA) Robotics
Challenge will allow only a single operator to send high-level
commands to the robot, but will degrade the wireless connection with
latency and intermittence. However, the operator will be able to
enlist helpers to "crowd source" helpful information from the
Internet. (Source: DARPA)
The DRC this go around requires:
- No tethers for power or communications: Forces the teams to build batteries or other fuel sources into their 300 pound robots.
- No"fall arrestors": Robots will have to be rugged enough to withstand a fall without damage and be able get up again on their own. No human assistance allowed to help a fallen or stuck robot.
- Time is shorter: All tasks will have to be completed in one hour, rather than four, as was the case in the December 2013 trial runs.
Wireless communications channels will be intermittent and randomly degraded in bandwidth.
As a consequence, the final robot trial has been pushed back six months, with each funded team receiving $1.5 million instead of $1 million, to give them time to build-in power sources, wireless communications channels, write algorithms for getting up after a fall and convert from step-by-step remote control -- which depends on a reliable communications channel -- to short commands that depend on prewritten algorithms to execute.
Read DARPA Robotics Challenge Ups Ante for more information.