DARPA Subterranean Challenge Cave Circuit event concluded!

November 11th, 2020

The CSIRO Data61 team competing in the DARPA Subterranean Challenge recently concluded its own Cave Circuit event. Unfortunately the official DARPA hosted Cave event had to be cancelled due to the impacts of Covid-19 in the United States.

After scouting for suitable venues, a cave in the Chillagoe cave system in Far North Queensland was selected. Our team took the fleet of robots and equipment on a 1800km+ road trip from our lab based in Brisbane to stage this event.

The cave was separated into Alpha and Beta courses with artifacts (backpacks, ropes, drills, vents etc.) distributed throughout. The human supervisors were not given access to either course nor were they aware of the artifact locations to keep the event as ‘DARPA-like’ as possible.

Our team did two runs each on the two courses over the course of three days. Our fleet of robots included two BIA5 OzBot Titan tracked platforms, one CSIRO built Dynamic Tracked Robot and two Emesent DJI M210 drones.

The ground robots were equipped with our CatPack for object detection and SLAM while the drones were equipped with Emesent’s Hovermap. All robots were using our Wildcat SLAM technology for localisation and mapping.

The CSIRO Data61’s Team competing in the DARPA Subterranean Challenge comprises of CSIRO’s Robotics and Autonomous Systems Group, Georgia Institute of Technology‘s Mobile Robot Laboratory and Emesent.


Course Walk-throughs


Paintcloud: Colourised pointcloud of cave environment

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