Researchers from MIT placed sixth out of two dozen teams in the international DARPA Robotics Challenge finals last week. Humanoid challengers in the Defense Department’s “robot Olympics” had to complete eight tasks related to helping people in disaster zones, including walking on rubble, climbing stairs and ladders, driving alone, and using tools. The winners, a team from Daejeon, Korea, took home $2 million.
“This is, without a doubt, the most ambitious project that any of us have ever undertaken,” said Russ Tedrake, an associate professor in the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab who led MIT’s team. “From perception to motion-planning to manipulation, the breadth and depth of challenges have forced us to think creatively, program nimbly — and sleep sporadically.”
DARPA launched the robotics challenge in response to the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan, in 2011.
Explore Professor Tedrake’s research in the Open Access Articles collection in DSpace@MIT, where it is openly accessible to the world.
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