Well, not here, because I am not in Pomona, CA, but they are there. Or at least they better be, since the finals of the high-stakes Darpa Robotics Challenge begin tomorrow, June 5, 2015!
We are so excited we can hardly stand it. Robots of all shapes and sizes1 are competing for 2 million dollars and the chance to be crowned America’s Next Top Robot (Editor’s note. Pretty sure that’s not what they’re calling it).
See, look, we even have DARPA approved proof that the ‘bots are ready–photos from move-in day!
These robots are particularly special because they have a calling: they are intended to be rescue robots, robots that can go into areas of man-made or natural disaster and enact repairs or rescue survivors. So what does this mean in a practical sense? The ‘bots will need to drive a car, move independently over rubble strewn terrain and complete tool based tasks, like turning off a valve. This diagram illustrates DARPA’s requirements for the ‘bots.
We here at Bitter Empire are convinced that the non-humanoid robots are going to sweep the DRC finals this weekend. Why? Because they are freakin’ awesome. Our continuing favorite: NASA’s RoboSimian.
Seriously, if we were betting types, we would be all in on RoboSimian. Why? can’t you see? It’s phenomenal. It can ride on its wheels, walk on its stumps, and it has software that was also used on the Mars Rover. Plus, its name is Clyde. What could be better?
Well, with 24 other competitors, who knows. We are not robot designers, nor have we had a chance to see all these ‘bots in action. So maybe, this week’s featured competitor, Aero, will take it all!
Aero began as a humanoid robot, but in a last minute twist, the Japanese-based team gave Aero an extra pair of legs. With four feet Aero now has added stability, to go along with its 38° of movement. How do they get this number? Basically, add up all the points of movement – for example, Aero has 2° of movement in each of its hands.
And, with that, our well of information about Aero has run dry. Like many of the private entries, info about Aero’s specs are limited, but we’ll all be able to see the team in action soon. For now, we bring you Aero wearing a glove:
Want to know more about the DRC competitors? Check out all our robot profiles!
or at least a lot of shapes and sizes. Okay, fine it’s like 4 shapes and sizes ↩