FYI For some reason the system (as part of the magration) has changed your username to "anon...". Thsi happened to me aslo -- you have to go into your profile and change it back (and when the system asks you for your Twitter etc. accounts, ifyou don;t have any, "NA" is a perfectly good answer).
Thanks for this article. Yes, with this major successful project, robots will indeed be part of our future within the next few years. I predict that we will be able to go to a local store and purchase a robot just like you do a cell phone. Of course, the price will be higher based on the features and the memory. A robot will be able to cook, clean the house, and complete other tasks as requested. After the success of robots, congress will try to get in the act and propose laws; just like they did with the Internet. The future is here now.
Funding wise, each of these teams got $1.8 million from DARPA to develop their robots. The winners from among them will get an additional $1.2 million to finish their development for the December 2013 real-world contest. Then the winners in Dec. will get an additional $1 million to refine their design for the final showdown in Dec. 2014 when a single winner will take the $2 million purse. (In contrast, the software teams only got $375,000 each to prepare for the Virtual Robotics Challenge:
Those six winners will get DARPA-supplied Atlas robots--plus a seventh donated Atlas for team seven--to compete against the robots in this slideshow.)
These high-tech machines are really beautiful to behold - it's amazing to see the diversity of design choices. It would be really interesting to know something about the trade-offs and challenges associated with each design. Were there manufacturing cost or other targets for the teams to meet in the competition?