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DARPA Robotics Challenge
The final phase of the DRC took place from June 5-6 in Pomona, California. The first place winner was Hubo, developed by Team Kaist of Korea.
Second place went to Running Man, developed by Team IHMC Robotics of Pensacola, Florida, and third place went to CHIMP, out of Carnegie Mellon University.
MIT's Atlas robot opens the door
A close-up of MIT's robot hands
The robot had to reset after failing the drill part of the course, but made it through in the end.
Engineers from MIT’s team watched on as Atlas attempted to drill a hole in the wall.
Germany's NimbRo Rescue
Germany’s team had seven of eight points after the first day, so it competed at the end of the day, right before the winners were announced.
NimbRo fell when it was trying to get through the rubble, and had a bit of trouble getting up.
Tartan Rescue, out of Carnegie Mellon University and the National Robotics Engineering Center, warmed up before its final run. It placed first, with all eight points in under an hour, the first day of the challenge.
CHIMP accidentally drove the Polaris into the barricade.
CHIMP in action
CHIMP prepared for the drill task. Communication was degraded in the course, so the robots had to act autonomously for certain things.
RoboSimian got out of the car and then did some crazy moves to stand on its head and go through the course.
RoboSimian enters the course
The crowd went wild as RoboSimian entered the course.
A robot prepares to rest and enter the course
RoboSimian tries to drill
The audience erupted as the Warner robot out of Worcester Polytechnic Institute and Carnegie Mellon University successfully exited the vehicle.
Opening the door
The first task was to open the door, which this robot did successfully.
Climbing over the rubble
At a fairly fast pace, WPI’s robot climbed over the cement rubble in the course.
WPI fans cheering for their robot
Programming the robots
Thousands of yards away, software teams worked to control the robot, though there were periodic blackouts while it was in the course to simulate a real-life disaster situation.
Teams were having fun decorating their robots back in the garage where they stayed for the weekend.
A dancing, skating robot
This robot, from Robotis, and its caretaker, skated around the expo and danced for visitors.
Team Aero out of the University of Tokyo attempted the surprise task, putting a cord into a hole.
Sadly, the robot dropped the cord. It only cried a little.
Team AERO watches on
A huge crowd
The DRC drew a huge crowd, who oohed and ahhed, laughed, and gasped watching robots try to go through the course.
A robot fell after trying to get through the final part of the challenge, and the team had to pick it up, which meant they lost 10 minutes of time.
There were four of these courses running simultaneously in the challenge.
Robots of all sizes
This demonstration shows how a tiny robot can gauge environmental conditions and report back to its momma robot.
NASA showed off by making its robot dance.
Robotis mini robots
These robots danced to top 40 hits. It was perhaps more amazing than robots opening doors and climbing stairs.
There were hundreds of kids at the DRC, all excited about robots.
Hubo was out of University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Working on the robots
Teams consistently worked on the tech behind the robots at their expo booths.
A long week
The DRC teams had been in Pomona for a week, and the software teams virtually never slept, constantly updating code. This HKU team member took a break.
SRI humanoid robot
SRI demoed its humanoid robot, which it unveiled at the DRC. The battery for this guy lasts eight hours.
SRI robot hand
SRI is developing smart, affordable robot technology.
SRI's bomb technology
This robot out of SRI can take apart bombs remotely.
Taking apart the bomb
An SRI engineer demos how the robot could take apart a bomb.
SRI's military tech
These robotic leg supports allow soldiers to carry 150 pounds without hurting themselves.
Getting girls into robotics
There were many young girls at the DRC, interested in robots — which was really great to see, because there were almost none on the teams.
MIT's robot cheetah
MIT drew a huge crowd with its robot cheetah, which ran up and down the course, hopped, and danced.