The primary technical goal of the DARPA Robotics Challenge is to develop ground robots capable of executing complex tasks in order to extend aid to victims of natural or man-made disasters and conduct evacuation operations. Some disasters, however, due to grave risks to the health and wellbeing of rescue and aid workers, prove too great in scale or scope for timely and effective human response.
Competitors in the DARPA Robotics Challenge are expected to focus on robots that can use standard tools and equipment commonly available in human environments, ranging from hand tools to vehicles, with an emphasis on adaptability to tools with diverse specifications.
A humanoid robot, based on the Boston Dynamics Petman robot shown in the video, will be provided to the top six performers in the virtual challenge. The robots will execute each individual team's software for the remaining challenge competitions. While the robot will be physically capable of performing all of the challenge tasks, Team ViGIR is using its “Collaborative Autonomy” approach to address the software challenge of how to make the best use of the human abilities in the human-robot team.
The DARPA Robotics Challenge is scheduled to launch in October of 2012 and will run for approximately 27 Months until one team remains. There will be three seperate challenges during this time. One of these challenges will take place in simulation while the rest will be live.
No stranger to competitive robotics, Team ViGIR consists of researchers from TORC Robotics, Technische Universität (TU) Darmstadt, and Virginia Tech.
“We are really looking forward to taking on another DARPA challenge. These challenges have really shaped the field of robotics in last decade. DARPA’s challenges create a high stakes environment that is a catalyst for innovation, and I think we have the team for the job.” states Michael Fleming, CEO at TORC Robotics.
For more information, or to sponsor our team, contact Andrew Culhane (firstname.lastname@example.org). Several sponsorship opportunities exist that will provide your company or organization with key insight into this exciting research as well as an ability to market yourself on the team’s website and on the robot.
Student researchers will be part of team VIGIR – Virginia-Germany Interdisciplinary Robotics Team, which includes TORC Robotics, Virginia Tech Computer Science and TU Darmstadt (Germany). The team will participate in Track B of the DARPA Robotics Challenge, a disaster response scenario motivated by the Fukushima disaster, and develop human-robot interfaces and control software for the PETMAN/ATLAS full-size humanoid robot built by Boston Dynamics.
Dr. David C. Conner (ECE)
Senior Research Scientist,
Adjunct Assistant Professor,
Virginia Tech, ECE
ECE 4994 topics will include:
Required Student Expertise:
Dr. Doug Bowman (CS)
Director of the Center for Human-Computer Interaction
Virginia Tech, Computer Science
CS 4994 topics will include: