South Korean Team Wins DARPA Robotics Challenge
POMONA, Calif., June 8 (UPI) — A robot from South Korea has won top honors in the two-day finals of a robotics challenge held by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
The robot, called Hubo, beat out 22 competitors from around the world in the finals, which featured robots performing eight disaster-related tasks in an hour under their own on-board power and with severely degraded communications between the robot and its operator.
Teams from the United States won second and third place.
DARPA said the challenge was launched in response to the nuclear disaster at Fukushima, Japan, in 2011 and the need for help to save lives in a toxic environment by using robots that could operate in areas too dangerous for people to mitigate disaster impacts.
Robot tasks in the challenge were relevant to disaster response — driving alone, walking through rubble, tripping circuit breakers, using a tool to cut a hole in a wall, turning valves and climbing stairs. Each team had two tries at the course with the best performance and times used as official scores.
Hubo is a product of Team Kaist from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology. First place in the DARPA competition earned it $2 million. In second place (with a prize of $1 million) was the Institute of Human and Machine Cognition from Florida – while a team from Carnegie Mellon University and the National Robotics Engineering Center won third place and a prize of $500,000.