Why DARPA decided to make their next robotics challenge a subterranean one? – By IEEE Spectrum

April 18th, 2019

Why DARPA decided to make their next robotics challenge a subterranean one? – By IEEE Spectrum

On the ‘DARPA Subterranean Challenge: Teams of Robots Compete to Explore Underground Worlds‘ article, Evan Ackerman form IEEE Spectrum reviews the key reasons why DARPA made their next robotics challenge an underground one.

Some key points include:

  • The primary scenario of interest for the competition is providing rapid situational awareness to a small team of operators preparing to enter unknown and dynamic subterranean environments. The layout of the environment is unknown, could degrade or change over time (i.e., dynamic terrain), and is too high-risk to send in personnel.
  • Each team is envisioned to deploy their systems to provide rapid situational awareness through mapping of the unknown environment and localization of artifacts (e.g., survivors, electrical boxes). As the systems explore the environment, these situational awareness updates are provided via reach-back to a base station in as close to real-time as possible. The urgency in completing the course objectives and providing near-real-time situational awareness updates is a consistent focus of the competition.

The video below illustrates how one of the main impacts of the technology being developed in the #SubTChallenge can assist in avoiding humans being put in harm’s way, as robots can be sent in to asses the environment of the task at hand and help with planning next steps.


Read the full article here.

To learn more about the other teams participating on the DARPA SubTChallenge with us, check this ‘Meet the First 9 Teams’ article also by IEEE Spectrum.

To read an interview with the DARPA SubTChallenge Program Manager Timothy Chung, view this article also by IEEE Spectrum.

To learn more about our participation in the DARPA SubTChalleng, click here.

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