Tartan Rescue of Carnegie Mellon University in the US is entering CHIMP,
which took third place in the 2013 DARPA Robotics Challenge Trials. CHIMP has a
near-human form factor designed for hazardous environments and is fitted with a
full, 360-degree sensor suite to create a 3D model of its surroundings.
CHIMP has tank-like treads instead of feet and treads on
its elbows as well. It can drive on all fours for tricky terrain, and stand up on two legs when it needs to.
Japan's Team Aero is entering Aero DRC, a robot
with over three dozen points of articulation: seven in each arm; four in each of its four legs;
three each in its waist and neck; and two in each of its two hands.
was entered by Japan's National Institute of Industrial Science and Technology and is a member of a series
of humanoid robots developed by the team. HRP-2+ boasts human-like bipedal
motion over rough terrain. It has the ability to lay down and get up again, fall
safely, clear a narrow passage and manipulate
objects while supporting itself with one hand. A bonus: it also performs traditional Japanese dance.
HRP-2+ is the upgraded version of the original HRP-2 built
Spidery, four-legged Cog-Burn was built
by Grit Robotics, a team of undergrad
students, professors and engineers. The team was formerly known as Team Mojavaton when it
participated in the 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge and the 2007 DARPA Urban
Challenge. Cog-Burn is fitted with 34 servo motors that enable it to walk
around and manipulate objects with its two arms and hands.
Germany's Team Hector
has made a bit of a nod to "Short Circuit" with Johnny 05
in name, if not in appearance. Johnny 05 has a modular design that means its
components are easy to remove, repair and replace. The bipedal robot is based
on software created by DRC Team ViGIR (TORC Robotics, TU Darmstadt, Virginia
Tech, Oregon State University, Cornell University and Leibniz University Hanover).
Johnny 05 is based on the Thormang hardware made by South Korea's Robotis.
of Hong Kong University is entering Atlas, a bipedal
robot with one very long arm. The team specialises in robot vision, motion
planning, programming and control, human-machine interaction and robotic
hardware. The team is entering a tetherless version of Boston Dynamics' hydraulically powered Atlas robot.
Another Atlas robot comes from the Pensacola, Fla., team IHMC Robotics of the Institute of Human
and Machine Cognition. The team has modified Running Man with
its own software to make it faster, more robust and more efficient. The team's
version of the Boston Dynamics robot has 30 degrees of freedom and third-party modular
Since the rules of the competition allow robots with the
same hardware to enter, so long as the software is different, there are some
double-ups. Team KAIST of South Korea designed HUBO (HUmanoid RObot),
which has been a project of the institute since 2002. The team is entering the
latest version of the robot, and has redesigned it to be more powerful and
capable. They have rewritten the walking algorithm, and the robot can also move
to a kneeling position for wheeled motion, via wheels attached to its knees.
Hydra, from Team NEDO-Hydra of Japan, is a
collaborative effort across four universities. The University of Tokyo
developed the hardware, which has 41 points of articulation. Chiba Institute of
Technology developed the sensing, localising and visualising systems. Osaka
University developed locomotion and manipulation. Finally, Kobe University
developed the network and teleoperation systems.
Team NimbRo Rescue from the University of Bonn, Germany, departs from the
bipedal model with the wheeled Momaro.
Momaro runs on four compliant legs that end in pairs of directly driven,
steerable wheels, which allows for omnidirectional driving on uneven terrain.
To overcome higher obstacles, the individual legs can lift and climb. The
rotating body on this base is equipped with two arms, each ending in four
individually controllable fingers with two joints each. A sensor head with a
rotating 3D laser scanner, eight RGB-D cameras and three full HD colour cameras
allow the robot to see its surroundings in detail.
NASA's Jet Propulsion Labs is doing away with humanoid altogether with the RoboSimian,
a modular crawling robot. It has 28 points of articulation divided among four
identical legs for the purposes of simplifying design, fabrication and
maintenance, but the resulting platform is dextrous and customisable.
Team SNU of
South Korea has modified a Thormang with its
own software, provided by three different laboratories at the Seoul National
University: Dynamic Robotic Systemhttp://www.theroboticsch...s Lab wrote the control algorithms, Machine
Intelligence & Pattern Analysis Lab wrote the perception software and
private company SimLab provided the software framework and interface.
Team THOR is a
collaboration between the Robots and Mechanisms Lab (RoMeLa) at the University
of California, Los Angeles, and the General Robotics, Automation, Sensing and
Perception Lab (GRASP) at the University of Pennsylvania. They're entering THOR-RD, a robot
designed around the concept of user-friendliness. The humanoid robot is therefore
built with modular actuators and simple mechanical structures for ease of transport,
deployment, operation and maintenance.
Team TRACLabs of Houston,
Texas is advancing to the finals with DARPA funding -- the only small business
team, it claims, to do so. It is entering a modified version of Boston
Dynamics' Atlas called Hercules.
Lockheed Martin's Team Trooper,
including teammates from the University of Pennsylvania and Rensselaer
Polytechnic Institute, is entering LEO, a Boston
Dynamics Atlas robot that is designed to work autonomously, contacting a human operator
only when it requires assistance.
Escher is a
robot wholly designed, fabricated and assembled by Team VALOR, a team of engineering
students at Virginia Tech. Because it is lightweight for its size, it can
operate untethered for up to two hours. It features a multi-spectral sensor
suite for surveying its environment, and a perception system allows it to
identify obstacles and tools, which in turn allows the bipedal robot to operate
Team ViGIR is a
collaborative US-German effort, made up of researchers from researchers from
TORC Robotics, Technische Universität Darmstadt, Virginia Tech, Oregon
State University, Cornell University and Leibniz University Hanover. The Atlas
robot submitted by the team, Florian, is named
for the patron saint of firefighters. The team has focused on software -- creating
control concepts that allow human operators to direct the robot under
Developed by Team WALK-MAN
from the Italian Institute of Technology and the University of Pisa, WALK-MAN is a
humanoid robot with 33 points of articulation that can operate under the power of a
2KWh battery unit. It's fitted with a robot perception system and protective
soft covers that are designed to shield the robot from impacts in hazardous
Worcester Polytechnic Institute and Carnegie Mellon
University have teamed up for Team WPI-CMU,
entering an Atlas robot named Warner. The team is
made up of undergraduate students, graduate students, professors and engineers,
with a variety of expertise in robot perception, locomotion and balance,
project management and software engineering.
Year of birth: 2013
Height: 190cm (6.2ft)
Weight: 180kg (397lb)
Editor's note: The DARPA Robotics Challenge Finals were
originally intended to have 25 entries. Team Intelligent Pioneer from China
withdrew its entry, Xing Tian.