For those of you who spent the weekend wondering who won the DARPA Robotics Challenge Trials, the answer is not the NASA superhero robot, Valkyrie. Schaft, the Japanese entry, won in a big fashion. SCHAFT Inc.(http://schaft-inc.jp) built a bipedal robot based on mature hardware and software designed for its existing HRP-2 robot. Height is 1480 mm. Weight is 95 kg. Wingspan is 1309 mm. Shaft scored 27 out of a possible 32 for all 8 tasks.
Second place went to IHMC Robotics from Pensacola, FL (http://robots.ihmc.us/) with 20 points. They were a Track B group and only competed in the software challenge. They were furnished and Atlas robot for use in the trials. Interesting statistics : the team has a range of education levels.
Here are the statistics:
- High School Students: 2
- Undergraduate Students: 4
- Graduate Students: 7
- Staff with Bachelor’s degree: 6
- Staff with Master’s degree: 4
- Staff with Doctorate degree: 5
Third place with 18 points went to Carnegie Mellon University's Tartan Rescue (http://www.cmu.edu). They designed their robot CHIMP (CMU Highly Intelligent Mobile Platform) with near human form to fit in an environment engineered for humans.To avoid the tricky problem of balancing a walking robot as it moves over uneven terrain, CHIMP rolls on rubberized tracks to drive like a tank over obstacles and to position itself to perform manipulation tasks. Height is 5 feet and 2 inches. Weight is 400 pounds. Wingspan is ~10 feet.
The DRC Trials occured December 20-21, 2013 at the Homestead-Miami Speedway, where teams attempted to guide their robots through eight individual, physical tasks that test mobility, manipulation, dexterity, perception, and operator control mechanisms. The DRC Finals will occur at the end of 2014 and will require robots to attempt a circuit of consecutive physical tasks, with degraded communications between the robots and their operators; the winning team will receive a $2 million prize.