Google’s SCHAFT Takes Home Gold in DARPA Robot Olympics

The DARPA Robotics Challenge Trials 2013 completed this weekend in Florida with 16 teams all vying for the top prize of $2 million dollars. 

According to DARPA, “The DRC is a competition of robot systems and software teams vying to develop robots capable of assisting humans in responding to natural and man-made disasters. Technologies resulting from the DRC will transform the field of robotics and catapult forward development of robots featuring task-level autonomy that can operate in the hazardous, degraded conditions common in disaster zones”.

All 16 robots were required to complete eight tasks as part of the challenge:

  • Task 1: Drive a Vehicle
  • Task 2: Walk on a mixed Terrain
  • Task 3: Climb a ladder
  • Task 4: Remove Debris
  • Task 5: Open and walk through doors
  • Task 6: Cut through a Wall
  • Task 7: Open a series of Valves
  • Task 8: Connect a Hose

Gizmodo reports that “with 27 out of a possible 32 points in eight challenges, SCHAFT pulled out a decisive victory”. 

SCHAFT is a 4ft 11 two-legged robot that was developed by a spin-off from the University of Tokyo’s Jouhou System Kougaku lab, which Google recently revealed it had acquired.