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VRC

DAROA LS3 - Boston DynamicsDAROA LS3 - Boston Dynamics

When Google bought Boston Dynamics last December, the news made headlines, but it was not the first time the Internet giant has invested in DARPA-funded robotics. As part of Robohub’s Big Deals series, we asked Gill Pratt, Program Manager of DARPA’s Defense Sciences Office, to shed some light on what DARPA thinks about Google’s robotics acquisitions , and what it might mean to the robotics and open source communities.

Based on a media rountable discussion with DRC Program Manager Gill Pratt and CEO of the Open Source Robotics Foundation Brian Gerkey.

The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear disaster was a wake-up call to the robotics community. In Japan, many asked why a country known for its cutting-edge robotics sector was unable to respond to the emergency. Worldwide, robotics experts pointed to the event as a real-world test of what robots can and cannot do.

Whether man-made or natural — or like Fukushima, a combination of the two — major catastrophic events, while rare, are becoming increasingly costly as human populations worldwide move to urban areas. This is why, in an effort to spur the development of agile humanoid first-responders, the US Department of Defense’s strategic plan identifies disaster response as a priority area, and why it is funnelling tens of millions of dollars into the DARPA Robotics Challenge.

Atlas_sim_drill_med

The first competition of the DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC) was a software simulation of humanoid rescue work. The 6 best teams were to be allocated ATLAS robots for the next stage of the challenge, but there’s been an interesting change. Gill Pratt, the DRC program manager, and Nate Koenig, the CTO of OSRF, will be on reddit from 1:00 – 2:00 PM ET today (June 27) to discuss the results of the Virtual Robotics Challenge (VRC) and the future of the DARPA Simulator with the community.



ICRA 2017 Company Showcase
December 10, 2017


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