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The Robot Olympics Are What We Need

| Filed under: Tech TalkScience!Olympics

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To be honest with all you guys, we're only covering the human Olympics because it doesn't happen very often.

We'd much rather be covering the ROBOT OLYMPICS.

Plus, instead of medals that collect dust later in their lives, these robots will be fighting for lots of money: $2 million.

It's call The Robotics Challenge, and is from the Pentagon’s military research arm DARPA (short for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency). Apparently it's happening in October, and is open to people all over the world.

To win, you have to demonstrate robotic capabilities of the future that could someday support the Defense Department’s humanitarian mission: disaster relief, providing aid to victims and running evacuation operations.

So don't bring your Terminators.

Here are some of the tasks:

- Challenged to drive a utility vehicle like an ATV and to master its controls, from the ignition and brakes through to steering.
- Walk on uneven ground and navigate debris in their path, or clear an obstruction from a doorway and open it.
- Be able to break through a concrete wall to locate and then fix a leaking pipe.
- Fine motor skills will also be tested, such as possibly removing and then replacing a small pump and climbing a ladder followed by successfully getting across a catwalk.

One of the major things is adaptability. This is important, because the complexity of any upcoming disaster cannot be entirely anticipated. Things like learning a new tool to help with an unforeseen event would fit this.

Both hardware and software developers are welcome!

So cool! Good luck, everyone!

Science! Science! Science!

[Image courtesy DARPA.]

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