DARPA Seeking to Build (Friendly) Terminators
The government is looking for a few good robots. But never fear, this year’s DARPA Robotics Challenge isn’t a casting call for positronic killing machines—instead, teams are being asked to design robots capable of driving a vehicle, using power tools to bash through walls, and even replace a cooling pump, for a $2 million grand prize. Up to $34 million in total will be eligible in contracts and funding, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency said.
The goal, according to DARPA, is to produce a robot capable of assisting humans in dangerous or degraded environments, using unmodified tools designed for humans. “The program aims to advance the key robotic technologies of supervised autonomy, mounted mobility, dismounted mobility, dexterity, strength, and platform endurance. Supervised autonomy will be developed to allow robot control by non-expert operators,” DARPA said, in a document posted to the FedBizOpps Web site.