DARPA SubT Challenge – CSIRO’s Data61 August 2020 Update

August 31st, 2020

Our team was thrilled to learn from DARPA’s SubT Challenge program manager Dr Timothy Chung that we have qualified for Phase III of funding to continue in the competition.

We were pleased to hear that our ongoing collaboration with Australian companies  (Emesent, BIA5), the tech we are commercialising from our work in the program, our track record in previous events, coupled with our strong technical roadmap have all contributed to the funding continuation.

After achieving 4th place at the DARPA Subt Challenge Urban Circuit in February, our team is now focused on the upcoming Cave Circuit. Originally planned as a face-to-face (Systems) and virtual event, DARPA has had to make the difficult decision to proceed only with the virtual competition to ensure the safety of participants amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

We will miss seeing other teams at the Cave Circuit, but we look forward to seeing them at the Final Event, planned for later in 2021, which will combine elements from the three subdomains.

Pending COVID-19 status in our home state of Queensland, Australia, we may have the opportunity to do a field trip up north to explore some of our natural caves in collaboration with the Chillagoe Caving Club. 

We have submitted a virtual model of our BIA5 ATR ‘Titan (pictured below) which will be made available for all teams to use in the Cave Circuit virtual track  we hope to see some of those teams using it! 

Virtual model of our BIA5 ATR ‘Titan’

DARPA explained that just as in the real-world competition courses, Virtual competitors will explore the cave environment and attempt to identify artifacts within five meters during a 60-minute timed run 

In the Final Event next yearteams in the Systems Competition will compete for up to $2 million iprize money. 

For all news about out participation in the DARPA SubtT Challenge, click here. 

This research was developed with funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The views, opinions and/or findings expressed are those of the author and should not be interpreted as representing the official views or policies of the Department of Defense or the U.S. Government. 

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