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Darpa Robotics Challenge: Pitting the world’s most advanced robots against each other

Published 08/06/2015

Winner: Team Kaist's DRC-HUBO robot successfully uses a power hand tool during its successful final run in the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex June 6, 2015 in Pomona, California. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Winner: Team Kaist's DRC-HUBO robot successfully uses a power hand tool during its successful final run in the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex June 6, 2015 in Pomona, California. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The Darpa Robotics Challenge (DRC) is competition showcasing the world’s most advanced robots.

Will the unblinking machines tear each other’s heads off? Or join forces and at last begin their campaign for world domination?

Not exactly. In fact, most of the 24 contestants at last weekend’s DRC finals in California had difficulty opening a door without falling over.

The three-year contest was organised by the US Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) – and set up in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear plant disaster – to encourage the development of robots capable of working in disaster zones too dangerous for humans. By this week, two dozen teams from around the world were in the running for a combined $3.5m (£2.3m) in prize money, including a $2m first prize.

To win, the robots were given an hour to complete eight tasks that would take a competent adult human no more than 10 minutes: drive a car a few yards; get out of the car; open a door; twist a valve; drill a hole; pull a lever; walk across some rubble; climb a small flight of stairs. On 5 June, many of the contestants struggled to complete more than two of the tasks.

Their human operators had to control the machines with the patchy wireless communications that would be present during a real disaster, and were given two chances to complete the course: once on 5 June and again. If a robot fell and was unable to get up of its own accord, its team incurred a 10-minute penalty for helping it to its “feet”.

Some of the teams are sponsored by governments including the Japanese. Many came from universities and research labs. One was from the aerospace and arms manufacturer Lockheed Martin, though it’s safe to say they’re a way off from creating Iron Man: on the morning of 5 June, the firm’s “Trooper” robot failed even to climb out of the car.

By lunchtime, the “Running Man” robot, operated by a team from the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC), topped the leader board after completing seven of the eight tasks and falling over only twice. “What these robots are doing is all stuff we take for granted as humans,” said IHMC research associate Doug Stephen.

“We’re trying to understand how those mechanisms work and turn them into software, which is a lot harder than people assume. These robots may look human-like, but they’re not really like humans.”

Darpa is the innovations branch of the US Department of Defence, and helped to originate modern technologies including drones and the internet. In 2005, it held its first prize-based challenge: to design an unmanned land vehicle that could transport supplies to bases in regions such as Afghanistan without putting human personnel at risk from IEDs and ambushes. Many of the top-scoring participants were later hired by Google for its project to create a driverless car.

The humanoid robot named 'Valkyrie' designed by NASA is on display during the finals of the DARPA Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex complex in Pomona, California on June 5, 2015. The competition has 24 teams vying to develop robots capable of assisting humans in responding to natural and man-made disasters. AFP/Getty Images
The humanoid robot named 'Valkyrie' designed by NASA is on display during the finals of the DARPA Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex complex in Pomona, California on June 5, 2015. The competition has 24 teams vying to develop robots capable of assisting humans in responding to natural and man-made disasters. AFP/Getty Images
The robot 'CHIMP' developed by Team Tartan Rescue from the US prepares to complete a task during the finals of the DARPA Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex complex in Pomona, California on June 6, 2015. Robots from six countries including the United States, Japan and South Korea competed against each other in a disaster response challenge inspired by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear meltdown. AFP PHOTO/MARK RALSTONMARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images
The robot 'Warner' developed by Team WPI-CMU from the US opens a valve during the finals of the DARPA Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex complex in Pomona, California on June 6, 2015. Robots from six countries including the United States, Japan and South Korea competed against each other in a disaster response challenge inspired by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear meltdown. AFP PHOTO/MARK RALSTONMARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images
POMONA, CA - JUNE 06: Team Tartan Rescue's CHIMP (CMU Highly Intelligent Mobile Platform) robot uses a hand-held power tool during the cutting task of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex June 6, 2015 in Pomona, California. Built by Carnegie Mellon University-NREC, CHIMP took home a third prize check for $500,000. Organized by DARPA, the Pentagon's science research group, 24 teams from aorund the world are competing for $3.5 million in prize money that will be awarded to the robots that best respond to natural and man-made disasters. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) ***BESTPIX***
The robot 'Momaro' developed by Team NimbRo Rescue from the Germany prepares to complete a task during the finals of the DARPA Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex complex in Pomona, California on June 6, 2015. Robots from six countries including the United States, Japan and South Korea competed against each other in a disaster response challenge inspired by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear meltdown. AFP PHOTO/MARK RALSTONMARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images
The robot 'CHIMP' developed by Team Tartan Rescue from the US passes through a doorway during the finals of the DARPA Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex complex in Pomona, California on June 6, 2015. Robots from six countries including the United States, Japan and South Korea competed against each other in a disaster response challenge inspired by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear meltdown. AFP PHOTO/MARK RALSTONMARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images
The robot 'CHIMP' developed by Team Tartan Rescue from the US passes through a doorway during the finals of the DARPA Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex complex in Pomona, California on June 6, 2015. Robots from six countries including the United States, Japan and South Korea competed against each other in a disaster response challenge inspired by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear meltdown. AFP PHOTO/MARK RALSTONMARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images
The robot 'CHIMP' developed by Team Tartan Rescue from the US passes through a doorway during the finals of the DARPA Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex complex in Pomona, California on June 6, 2015. Robots from six countries including the United States, Japan and South Korea competed against each other in a disaster response challenge inspired by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear meltdown. AFP PHOTO/MARK RALSTONMARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images
The robot 'Warner' developed by Team WPI-CMU from the US steps over an uneven obstacle during the finals of the DARPA Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex complex in Pomona, California on June 6, 2015. Robots from six countries including the United States, Japan and South Korea competed against each other in a disaster response challenge inspired by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear meltdown. AFP PHOTO/MARK RALSTONMARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images
The robot 'Warner' developed by Team WPI-CMU from the US steps over an uneven obstacle during the finals of the DARPA Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex complex in Pomona, California on June 6, 2015. Robots from six countries including the United States, Japan and South Korea competed against each other in a disaster response challenge inspired by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear meltdown. AFP PHOTO/MARK RALSTONMARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images
The robot 'Florian' developed by Team ViGIR from Germany malfunctions and falls over during the finals of the DARPA Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex complex in Pomona, California on June 6, 2015. Robots from six countries including the United States, Japan and South Korea went diode-to-diode in a disaster response challenge inspired by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear meltdown. AFP PHOTO/MARK RALSTONMARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images
The robot 'Florian' developed by Team ViGIR from Germany malfunctions and falls over during the finals of the DARPA Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex complex in Pomona, California on June 6, 2015. Robots from six countries including the United States, Japan and South Korea competed against each other in a disaster response challenge inspired by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear meltdown. AFP PHOTO/MARK RALSTONMARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images
The robot 'Thormang 2' developed by Team ROBOTIS from South Korea malfunctions during the finals of the DARPA Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex complex in Pomona, California on June 6, 2015. Robots from six countries including the United States, Japan and South Korea competed against each other in a disaster response challenge inspired by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear meltdown. AFP PHOTO/MARK RALSTONMARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images
POMONA, CA - JUNE 06: Team MIT's Helios Atlas robot steps down from the rubble task during the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex June 6, 2015 in Pomona, California. Organized by DARPA, the Pentagon's science research group, 24 teams from aorund the world are competing for $3.5 million in prize money that will be awarded to the robots that best respond to natural and man-made disasters. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
The robot 'RoboSimian' developed by the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory completes a task during the finals of the DARPA Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex complex in Pomona, California on June 6, 2015. Robots from six countries including the United States, Japan and South Korea competed against each other in a disaster response challenge inspired by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear meltdown. AFP PHOTO/MARK RALSTONMARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images
Members of the Team KAIST from South Korea celebrate after their robot 'DRC-Hubo' won the finals of the DARPA Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex complex in Pomona, California on June 6, 2015. Robots from six countries including the United States, Japan and South Korea competed against each other in a disaster response challenge inspired by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear meltdown. AFP PHOTO/MARK RALSTONMARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images
The humanoid robot 'DRC-Hubo' developed by Team KAIST from South Korea completes a task before winning the finals of the DARPA Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex complex in Pomona, California on June 6, 2015. Robots from six countries including the United States, Japan and South Korea competed against each other in a disaster response challenge inspired by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear meltdown. AFP PHOTO/MARK RALSTONMARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images
POMONA, CA - JUNE 06: Team NEDO-Hydra's robot is held in place by racks inside the Robot Garage during the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex June 6, 2015 in Pomona, California. Organized by DARPA, the Pentagon's science research group, 24 teams from aorund the world are competing for $3.5 million in prize money that will be awarded to the robots that best respond to natural and man-made disasters. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
The humanoid robot 'DRC-Hubo' developed by Team KAIST from South Korea completes a task before winning the finals of the DARPA Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex complex in Pomona, California on June 6, 2015. Robots from six countries including the United States, Japan and South Korea competed against each other in a disaster response challenge inspired by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear meltdown. AFP PHOTO/MARK RALSTONMARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images
POMONA, CA - JUNE 06: Members of Team IHMC Robotics from the Institute of Human and Machine Cognition pose for photographs after placing second in the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex June 6, 2015 in Pomona, California. Team IHMC Robotics took home a $1million prize. Organized by DARPA, the Pentagon's science research group, 24 teams from aorund the world are competing for $3.5 million in prize money that will be awarded to the robots that best respond to natural and man-made disasters. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
POMONA, CA - JUNE 06: Team Tartan Rescue's CHIMP (CMU Highly Intelligent Mobile Platform) robot uses a hand-held power tool during the cutting task of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex June 6, 2015 in Pomona, California. Built by Carnegie Mellon University-NREC, CHIMP took home a third prize check for $500,000. Organized by DARPA, the Pentagon's science research group, 24 teams from aorund the world are competing for $3.5 million in prize money that will be awarded to the robots that best respond to natural and man-made disasters. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
POMONA, CA - JUNE 06: Team Tartan Rescue's CHIMP (CMU Highly Intelligent Mobile Platform) robot competes in the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex June 6, 2015 in Pomona, California. Built by Carnegie Mellon University-NREC, CHIMP took home a third prize check for $500,000. Organized by DARPA, the Pentagon's science research group, 24 teams from aorund the world are competing for $3.5 million in prize money that will be awarded to the robots that best respond to natural and man-made disasters. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
The robot named 'Meccano' (L) and others watch the action during the finals of the DARPA Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex complex in Pomona, California on June 6, 2015. Robots from six countries including the United States, Japan and South Korea competed against each other in a disaster response challenge inspired by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear meltdown. AFP PHOTO/MARK RALSTONMARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images
The robot named 'Jaxon' developed by Team NEDO-JSK from Japan malfunctions during the finals of the DARPA Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex complex in Pomona, California on June 6, 2015. Robots from six countries including the United States, Japan and South Korea competed against each other in a disaster response challenge inspired by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear meltdown. AFP PHOTO/MARK RALSTONMARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images
The robot named 'Meccano' watches the action during the finals of the DARPA Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex complex in Pomona, California on June 6, 2015. Robots from six countries including the United States, Japan and South Korea competed against each other in a disaster response challenge inspired by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear meltdown. AFP PHOTO/MARK RALSTONMARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images
The robot named 'Jaxon' developed by Team NEDO-JSK from Japan malfunctions during the finals of the DARPA Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex complex in Pomona, California on June 6, 2015. Robots from six countries including the United States, Japan and South Korea competed against each other in a disaster response challenge inspired by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear meltdown. AFP PHOTO/MARK RALSTONMARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images
A robotic cheetah runs during a demonstration at the finals of the DARPA Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex complex in Pomona, California on June 6, 2015. Robots from six countries including the United States, Japan and South Korea competed against each other in a disaster response challenge inspired by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear meltdown. AFP PHOTO/MARK RALSTONMARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images
A robotic cheetah runs during a demonstration at the finals of the DARPA Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex complex in Pomona, California on June 6, 2015. Robots from six countries including the United States, Japan and South Korea competed against each other in a disaster response challenge inspired by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear meltdown. AFP PHOTO/MARK RALSTONMARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images
POMONA, CA - JUNE 06: Team Kaist's DRC-HUBO robot successfully uses a power hand tool during its successful final run in the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex June 6, 2015 in Pomona, California. Organized by DARPA, the Pentagon's science research group, 24 teams from aorund the world are competing for $3.5 million in prize money that will be awarded to the robots that best respond to natural and man-made disasters. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
A robotic cheetah runs during a demonstration at the finals of the DARPA Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex complex in Pomona, California on June 6, 2015. Robots from six countries including the United States, Japan and South Korea competed against each other in a disaster response challenge inspired by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear meltdown. AFP PHOTO/MARK RALSTONMARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images
POMONA, CA - JUNE 06: The 'Running Man' Atlas robot operated by Team IHMC Robotics raises its arms in the air in jubilation after completing the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex June 6, 2015 in Pomona, California. Organized by DARPA, the Pentagon's science research group, 24 teams from aorund the world are competing for $3.5 million in prize money that will be awarded to the robots that best respond to natural and man-made disasters. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
POMONA, CA - JUNE 06: A SRI Robotics Micro Factory micro-robot rides a circut ribbon while demonstrating how hundreds of tiny machines can work in unison during the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Robotics Challenge Expo at the Fairplex June 6, 2015 in Pomona, California. Organized by DARPA, the Pentagon's science research group, 24 teams from aorund the world are competing for $3.5 million in prize money that will be awarded to the robots that best respond to natural and man-made disasters. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
POMONA, CA - JUNE 06: Team Kaist's DRC-HUBO robot completes the plug task during its run in the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex June 6, 2015 in Pomona, California. Organized by DARPA, the Pentagon's science research group, 24 teams from aorund the world are competing for $3.5 million in prize money that will be awarded to the robots that best respond to natural and man-made disasters. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
POMONA, CA - JUNE 06: Children interact with Aldebaran's Pepper robot during the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Robotics Challenge Expo at the Fairplex June 6, 2015 in Pomona, California. Organized by DARPA, the Pentagon's science research group, 24 teams from aorund the world are competing for $3.5 million in prize money that will be awarded to the robots that best respond to natural and man-made disasters. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
POMONA, CA - JUNE 06: A line of Robotis Dynamixal Mini robots dance to music at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Robotics Challenge Expo at the Fairplex June 6, 2015 in Pomona, California. Organized by DARPA, the Pentagon's science research group, 24 teams from aorund the world are competing for $3.5 million in prize money that will be awarded to the robots that best respond to natural and man-made disasters. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
POMONA, CA - JUNE 06: A robotic arm developed by the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory is on display at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Robotics Challenge Expo at the Fairplex June 6, 2015 in Pomona, California. Organized by DARPA, the Pentagon's science research group, 24 teams from aorund the world are competing for $3.5 million in prize money that will be awarded to the robots that best respond to natural and man-made disasters. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
POMONA, CA - JUNE 06: A line of Robotis Dynamixal Mini robots dance to music at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Robotics Challenge Expo at the Fairplex June 6, 2015 in Pomona, California. Organized by DARPA, the Pentagon's science research group, 24 teams from aorund the world are competing for $3.5 million in prize money that will be awarded to the robots that best respond to natural and man-made disasters. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
POMONA, CA - JUNE 06: Virginia Tech's Team Valor semi-autonomous ESCHER (Electromechanical Series Compliant Humanoid for Emergency Response) robot attempts the door task during the second day of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex June 6, 2015 in Pomona, California. Organized by DARPA, the Pentagon's science research group, 24 teams from aorund the world are competing for $3.5 million in prize money that will be awarded to the robots that best respond to natural and man-made disasters. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
POMONA, CA - JUNE 06: A woman reaches to touch a robotic arm developed by the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory is on display at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Robotics Challenge Expo at the Fairplex June 6, 2015 in Pomona, California. Organized by DARPA, the Pentagon's science research group, 24 teams from aorund the world are competing for $3.5 million in prize money that will be awarded to the robots that best respond to natural and man-made disasters. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
POMONA, CA - JUNE 06: Virginia Tech's Team Valor semi-autonomous ESCHER (Electromechanical Series Compliant Humanoid for Emergency Response) robot walks through the 'slalom' task during the second day of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex June 6, 2015 in Pomona, California. Organized by DARPA, the Pentagon's science research group, 24 teams from aorund the world are competing for $3.5 million in prize money that will be awarded to the robots that best respond to natural and man-made disasters. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Engineer Rameen Aryanpur from Boston Engineering talks about his companies Robotic Shark that is used for underwater inspection and surveillance during the finals of the DARPA Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex complex in Pomona, California on June 5, 2015. Robots from six countries including the United States, Japan and South Korea went diode-to-diode in a disaster response challenge inspired by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear meltdown. AFP PHOTO/MARK RALSTONMARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images
The humanoid robot named 'Thor' designed by students from Virginia Tech on display during the finals of the DARPA Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex complex in Pomona, California on June 5, 2015. Robots from six countries including the United States, Japan and South Korea went diode-to-diode in a disaster response challenge inspired by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear meltdown. AFP PHOTO/MARK RALSTONMARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images
The robot named 'Thormang' developed by Team SNU from Seoul National University in South Korea malfunctions during the finals of the DARPA Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex complex in Pomona, California on June 5, 2015. Robots from six countries including the United States, Japan and South Korea went diode-to-diode in a disaster response challenge inspired by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear meltdown. AFP PHOTO/MARK RALSTONMARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images
POMONA, CA - JUNE 05: A child uses the HEBI Robotics Snake Monster hexapod robot's cord to pull it in different directions during the first day of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Robotics Challenge Expo at the Fairplex June 5, 2015 in Pomona, California. Organized by DARPA, the Pentagon's science research group, 24 teams from aorund the world are competing for $3.5 million in prize money that will be awarded to the robots that best respond to natural and man-made disasters. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
POMONA, CA - JUNE 05: A robotics fans shows his enthusiasm during the first day of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex June 5, 2015 in Pomona, California. Organized by DARPA, the Pentagon's science research group, 24 teams from aorund the world are competing for $3.5 million in prize money that will be awarded to the robots that best respond to tasks often handled by emergency workers in natural and man-made disasters. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
POMONA, CA - JUNE 05: Members of the Carnagie Mellon University-NREC Tartan Rescue team embrace after their CHIMP (CMU Highly Intelligent Mobile Platform) humanoid robot earned the top score during the first day of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex June 5, 2015 in Pomona, California. Organized by DARPA, the Pentagon's science research group, 24 teams from aorund the world are competing for $3.5 million in prize money that will be awarded to the robots that best respond to tasks often handled by emergency workers in natural and man-made disasters. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
POMONA, CA - JUNE 05: Roboticists take a closer look at the KAWADA Industries HRP-2 humanoid robot during the first day of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex June 5, 2015 in Pomona, California. Organized by DARPA, the Pentagon's science research group, 24 teams from aorund the world are competing for $3.5 million in prize money that will be awarded to the robots that best respond to tasks often handled by emergency workers in natural and man-made disasters. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
People walk past a display showing damage from the 2011 Fukushima Tsunami during the finals of the DARPA Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex complex in Pomona, California on June 5, 2015. Robots from six countries including the United States, Japan and South Korea went diode-to-diode in a disaster response challenge inspired by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear meltdown. AFP PHOTO/MARK RALSTONMARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images
Children pose in front of a promotional poster during the finals of the DARPA Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex complex in Pomona, California on June 5, 2015. The competition has 24 teams vying to develop robots capable of assisting humans in responding to natural and man-made disasters. AFP PHOTO/MARK RALSTONMARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images
The robot named 'Walk-Man' developed by Italian University of Pisa team passes through a door during the finals of the DARPA Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex complex in Pomona, California on June 5, 2015. The competition has 24 teams vying to develop robots capable of assisting humans in responding to natural and man-made disasters. AFP PHOTO/MARK RALSTONMARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images
POMONA, CA - JUNE 05: South Korean supporters of the Team Kaist HUBO robot react to an error during the first day of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex June 5, 2015 in Pomona, California. Organized by DARPA, the Pentagon's science research group, 24 teams from aorund the world are competing for $3.5 million in prize money that will be awarded to the robots that best respond to tasks often handled by emergency workers in natural and man-made disasters. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
The robot named 'HRP-2 Kai' developed by Team AIST-NEDO from Japan attempts to open a door during the finals of the DARPA Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex complex in Pomona, California on June 5, 2015. The competition has 24 teams vying to develop robots capable of assisting humans in responding to natural and man-made disasters. AFP PHOTO/MARK RALSTONMARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images
POMONA, CA - JUNE 05: A member of Team MIT from the Massachusetts Institue of Technology holds the Helios robot in place after it completed a challenge course during the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex June 5, 2015 in Pomona, California. Organized by DARPA, the Pentagon's science research group, 24 teams from aorund the world are competing for $3.5 million in prize money that will be awarded to the robots that best respond to tasks often handled by emergency workers in natural and man-made disasters. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
POMONA, CA - JUNE 05: The Team NimbRo Rescue semi-autonomus robot uses a power tool to cut through drywall during the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex June 5, 2015 in Pomona, California. Organized by DARPA, the Pentagon's science research group, 24 teams from aorund the world are competing for $3.5 million in prize money that will be awarded to the robots that best respond to tasks often handled by emergency workers in natural and man-made disasters. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
POMONA, CA - JUNE 05: Riley Ros, 6, takes a closer look at one of the 'hands' of the Team MIT Helios robot during the first day of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex June 5, 2015 in Pomona, California. Organized by DARPA, the Pentagon's science research group, 24 teams from aorund the world are competing for $3.5 million in prize money that will be awarded to the robots that best respond to tasks often handled by emergency workers in natural and man-made disasters. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
POMONA, CA - JUNE 05: The Team Kaist HUBO robot from South Korea climbs out of a Polairs vehicle during the first day of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex June 5, 2015 in Pomona, California. Organized by DARPA, the Pentagon's science research group, 24 teams from aorund the world are competing for $3.5 million in prize money that will be awarded to the robots that best respond to tasks often handled by emergency workers in natural and man-made disasters. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
POMONA, CA - JUNE 05: The Team Kaist HUBO from South Korea folds its 'legs' and becomes a rolling robot after climbing out of a Polairs vehicle during the first day of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex June 5, 2015 in Pomona, California. Organized by DARPA, the Pentagon's science research group, 24 teams from aorund the world are competing for $3.5 million in prize money that will be awarded to the robots that best respond to tasks often handled by emergency workers in natural and man-made disasters. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
The humanoid robot named 'Thor' designed by students from Virginia Tech is on display during the finals of the DARPA Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex complex in Pomona, California, on June 5, 2015. The competition has 24 teams vying to develop robots capable of assisting humans in responding to natural and man-made disasters. AFP PHOTO/MARK RALSTONMARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images
POMONA, CA - JUNE 05: Children pose for photographs with the Team MIT Helios robot after it completed a challenge course during the first day of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex June 5, 2015 in Pomona, California. Organized by DARPA, the Pentagon's science research group, 24 teams from aorund the world are competing for $3.5 million in prize money that will be awarded to the robots that best respond to tasks often handled by emergency workers in natural and man-made disasters. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
POMONA, CA - JUNE 05: Daniel Runyan and his son Corbin, 3, take a close look at the Team NimbRo Rescue semi-autonomus robot during the first day of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex June 5, 2015 in Pomona, California. Organized by DARPA, the Pentagon's science research group, 24 teams from aorund the world are competing for $3.5 million in prize money that will be awarded to the robots that best respond to tasks often handled by emergency workers in natural and man-made disasters. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Yaretzi Bernal, 6, gets a hug from 'Pepper' the emotional robot on display during the finals of the DARPA Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex complex in Pomona, California on June 5, 2015. The competition has 24 teams vying to develop robots capable of assisting humans in responding to natural and man-made disasters. AFP PHOTO/MARK RALSTONMARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images
Children meet 'Pepper' the emotional robot on display during the finals of the DARPA Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex complex in Pomona, California on June 5, 2015. The competition has 24 teams vying to develop robots capable of assisting humans in responding to natural and man-made disasters. AFP PHOTO/MARK RALSTONMARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images
POMONA, CA - JUNE 05: The Jet Propulsion Labs' Team RoboSimian 275-pound robot uses one of its four limbs to turn a valve during the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex June 5, 2015 in Pomona, California. The . Organized by DARPA, the Pentagon's science research group, 24 teams from aorund the world are competing for $3.5 million in prize money that will be awarded to the robots that best respond to natural and man-made disasters. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Yaretzi Bernal, 6, gets a hug from 'Pepper' the emotional robot on display during the finals of the DARPA Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex complex in Pomona, California on June 5, 2015. The competition has 24 teams vying to develop robots capable of assisting humans in responding to natural and man-made disasters. AFP PHOTO/MARK RALSTONMARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images
POMONA, CA - JUNE 05: The Jet Propulsion Labs' Team RoboSimian 275-pound robot climbs out of a Polaris vehicle after driving through obsticles during the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex June 5, 2015 in Pomona, California. The . Organized by DARPA, the Pentagon's science research group, 24 teams from aorund the world are competing for $3.5 million in prize money that will be awarded to the robots that best respond to natural and man-made disasters. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
POMONA, CA - JUNE 05: The Jet Propulsion Labs' Team RoboSimian 275-pound robot climbs out of a Polaris vehicle after driving through obsticles during the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex June 5, 2015 in Pomona, California. The . Organized by DARPA, the Pentagon's science research group, 24 teams from aorund the world are competing for $3.5 million in prize money that will be awarded to the robots that best respond to natural and man-made disasters. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
The robot named 'Running Man' developed by Team IHMC Robotics successfully cuts a hole with a power tool during the finals of the DARPA Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex complex in Pomona, California, on June 5, 2015. The competition has 24 teams vying to develop robots capable of assisting humans in responding to natural and man-made disasters. AFP PHOTO/MARK RALSTONMARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images
The robot named 'Running Man' developed by Team IHMC Robotics successfully cuts a hole with a power tool during the finals of the DARPA Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex complex in Pomona, California, on June 5, 2015. The competition has 24 teams vying to develop robots capable of assisting humans in responding to natural and man-made disasters. AFP PHOTO/MARK RALSTONMARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images
The robot named 'Running Man' developed by Team IHMC Robotics successfully opens a door during the finals of the DARPA Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex complex in Pomona, California, on June 5, 2015. The competition has 24 teams vying to develop robots capable of assisting humans in responding to natural and man-made disasters. AFP PHOTO/MARK RALSTONMARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images
The robot named 'Running Man' developed by Team IHMC Robotics successfully opens a valve during the finals of the DARPA Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex complex in Pomona, California, on June 5, 2015. The competition has 24 teams vying to develop robots capable of assisting humans in responding to natural and man-made disasters. AFP PHOTO/MARK RALSTONMARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images
The robot named 'Jaxon' developed by Team NEDO-JSK from Japan is carried out on a stretcher after falling during the finals of the DARPA Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex complex in Pomona, California, on June 5, 2015. The competition has 24 teams vying to develop robots capable of assisting humans in responding to natural and man-made disasters. AFP PHOTO/MARK RALSTONMARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images
The robot named 'Jaxon' developed by Team NEDO-JSK from Japan is carried out on a stretcher after falling during the finals of the DARPA Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex complex in Pomona, California, on June 5, 2015. The competition has 24 teams vying to develop robots capable of assisting humans in responding to natural and man-made disasters. AFP PHOTO/MARK RALSTONMARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images
The robot named 'Running Man' developed by Team IHMC Robotics falls during the finals of the DARPA Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex complex in Pomona, California on June 5, 2015. The competition has 24 teams vying to develop robots capable of assisting humans responding to natural and man-made disasters. AFP PHOTO/MARK RALSTONMARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images
The robot named 'Running Man' developed by Team IHMC Robotics walks an obstacle course during the finals of the DARPA Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex complex in Pomona, California on June 5, 2015. The competition has 24 teams vying to develop robots capable of assisting humans responding to natural and man-made disasters. AFP PHOTO/MARK RALSTONMARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images
POMONA, CA - JUNE 05: Members of the Wosrcester Polytechnic Institute and Carnegie Mello University team cheer after their semi-autonomous humanoid robot finished the course during the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex June 5, 2015 in Pomona, California. Organized by DARPA, the Pentagon's science research group, 24 teams from aorund the world are competing for $3.5 million in prize money that will be awarded to the robots that best respond to natural and man-made disasters. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
The robot named 'Running Man' developed by Team IHMC Robotics walks an obstacle course during the finals of the DARPA Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex complex in Pomona, California on June 5, 2015. The competition has 24 teams vying to develop robots capable of assisting humans responding to natural and man-made disasters. AFP PHOTO/MARK RALSTONMARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images
POMONA, CA - JUNE 05: The semi-autonomous robot operated by the team from Wosrcester Polytechnic Institute and Carnegie Mello University clears a simulated pile of rubble during the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex June 5, 2015 in Pomona, California. Organized by DARPA, the Pentagon's science research group, 24 teams from aorund the world are competing for $3.5 million in prize money that will be awarded to the robots that best respond to natural and man-made disasters. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
POMONA, CA - JUNE 05: Members of the Wosrcester Polytechnic Institute and Carnegie Mello University team cheer after their semi-autonomous humanoid robot finished the course during the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex June 5, 2015 in Pomona, California. Organized by DARPA, the Pentagon's science research group, 24 teams from aorund the world are competing for $3.5 million in prize money that will be awarded to the robots that best respond to natural and man-made disasters. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
POMONA, CA - JUNE 05: Team THOR's semi-autonomous humanoid robot works to open a door during the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex June 5, 2015 in Pomona, California. Team THOR is a union between the Robots and Mechanisms Lab at the University of California and the General Robotcs Automation, Sensing and Perception Lab at the University of Pennsylvania. Organized by DARPA, the Pentagon's science research group, 24 teams from aorund the world are competing for $3.5 million in prize money that will be awarded to the robots that best respond to natural and man-made disasters. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Robot Running Man from the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition takes a tumble during the competition in the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Robotics Challenge in Pomona, Calif., Friday, June 5, 2015. Robots from 24 teams are taking part in a two-day contest hosted by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, DARPA, to prove their performance in different tasks during a simulated disaster course. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)
POMONA, CA - JUNE 05: Audience members and fans of robotics cheer for Team ViGIR during the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex June 5, 2015 in Pomona, California. Organized by DARPA, the Pentagon's science research group, 24 teams from around the world are competing for $3.5 million in prize money that will be awarded to the robots that best respond to natural and man-made disasters. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Robot Running Man from the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition walks over unstable bricks for a second time, after falling on the first try, during the competition in the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Robotics Challenge in Pomona, Calif., Friday, June 5, 2015. Robots from 24 teams are taking part in a two-day contest hosted by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, DARPA, to prove their performance in different tasks during a simulated disaster course. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)
POMONA, CA - JUNE 05: Two-year-old Hunter Kleimo and his grandfather Mike Kleimo interact with a Clearpath Robotics robot at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Robotics Challenge Expo at the Fairplex June 5, 2015 in Pomona, California. RE2 is developing these dual-arm Highly Dexterous Manipulation Systems (HDMS) to help military explosives ordnance disposal teams un-arm more and more sophisticated bombs. Organized by DARPA, the Pentagon's science research group, 24 teams from around the world are competing for $3.5 million in prize money that will be awarded to the robots that best respond to natural and man-made disasters. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
POMONA, CA - JUNE 05: A child uses the HEBI Robotics Snake Monster hexapod robot's cord to pull it in different directions during the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Robotics Challenge Expo at the Fairplex June 5, 2015 in Pomona, California. Organized by DARPA, the Pentagon's science research group, 24 teams from around the world are competing for $3.5 million in prize money that will be awarded to the robots that best respond to natural and man-made disasters. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
POMONA, CA - JUNE 05: A man holds a Baymax plush toy from the Diseny movie Big Hero 6 while watching the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex June 5, 2015 in Pomona, California. Organized by DARPA, the Pentagon's science research group, 24 teams from around the world are competing for $3.5 million in prize money that will be awarded to the robots that best respond to natural and man-made disasters. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
POMONA, CA - JUNE 05: Cal Tech post-doctorial student Vasu Raman (L) passes a $15,000 NAO robot to Cornell University Mechanical Engineering PhD candidate Catherine Wong while taking a break from her school's booth at the Defense Advanced Research Projects (DARPA) Agency Robotics Challenge Expo at the Fairplex June 5, 2015 in Pomona, California. Organized by DARPA, the Pentagon's science research group, 24 teams from around the world are competing for $3.5 million in prize money that will be awarded to the robots that best respond to natural and man-made disasters. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
POMONA, CA - JUNE 05: Teachers from across the country work to build kit robots at the Robotics Education and Competition Foundation tent during the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Robotics Challenge Expo at the Fairplex June 5, 2015 in Pomona, California. Organized by DARPA, the Pentagon's science research group, 24 teams from around the world are competing for $3.5 million in prize money that will be awarded to the robots that best respond to natural and man-made disasters. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
POMONA, CA - JUNE 05: Cornell University Mechanical Engineering PhD candidate Jim Jing holds a $15,000 NAO robot while taking a break from his school's booth at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Robotics Challenge Expo at the Fairplex June 5, 2015 in Pomona, California. Organized by DARPA, the Pentagon's science research group, 24 teams from around the world are competing for $3.5 million in prize money that will be awarded to the robots that best respond to natural and man-made disasters. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
POMONA, CA - JUNE 05: Isaiah Racadio, 8, takes a piece of candy from a robot operated by RE2 Engineering Coordinator Aaron Nicely (R) at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Robotics Challenge Expo at the Fairplex June 5, 2015 in Pomona, California. RE2 is developing these dual-arm Highly Dexterous Manipulation Systems (HDMS) to help military explosives ordnance disposal teams un-arm more and more sophisticated bombs. Organized by DARPA, the Pentagon's science research group, 24 teams from around the world are competing for $3.5 million in prize money that will be awarded to the robots that best respond to natural and man-made disasters. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
POMONA, CA - JUNE 05: Team Valor's semi-autonomous ESCHER (Electromechanical Series Compliant Humanoid for Emergency Response) robot lays on the ground after falling backwards during its first run during the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex June 5, 2015 in Pomona, California. Organized by DARPA, the Pentagon's science research group, 24 teams from around the world are competing for $3.5 million in prize money that will be awarded to the robots that best respond to natural and man-made disasters. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
POMONA, CA - JUNE 05: Team Valor's semi-autonomous ESCHER (Electromechanical Series Compliant Humanoid for Emergency Response) robot walks through the 'slalom' section of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex June 5, 2015 in Pomona, California. Organized by DARPA, the Pentagon's science research group, 24 teams from around the world are competing for $3.5 million in prize money that will be awarded to the robots that best respond to natural and man-made disasters. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
POMONA, CA - JUNE 05: United States Marines and representatives from Boston Dynamics look at Spot, a four-legged robot designed for indoor and outdoor operation, during the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex June 5, 2015 in Pomona, California. Organized by DARPA, the Pentagon's science research group, 24 teams from around the world are competing for $3.5 million in prize money that will be awarded to the humanoid robots that best respond to natural and man-made disasters. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
POMONA, CA - JUNE 05: Members of Team Aero from the University of Tokyo prepare their robot in the 'Meet the Robots' area of th Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex June 5, 2015 in Pomona, California. Organized by DARPA, the Pentagon's science research group, 24 teams from around the world are competing for $3.5 million in prize money that will be awarded to the robots that best respond to natural and man-made disasters. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
POMONA, CA - JUNE 05: Members of Team Valor from Virginia Tech wheel their semi-autonomous ESCHER (Electromechanical Series Compliant Humanoid for Emergency Response) robot out for it's first run during the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex June 5, 2015 in Pomona, California. Organized by DARPA, the Pentagon's science research group, 24 teams from around the world are competing for $3.5 million in prize money that will be awarded to the robots that best respond to natural and man-made disasters. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
POMONA, CA - JUNE 05: Team Valor's semi-autonomous ESCHER (Electromechanical Series Compliant Humanoid for Emergency Response) robot lays on the ground after falling backwards during its first run during the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex June 5, 2015 in Pomona, California. Organized by DARPA, the Pentagon's science research group, 24 teams from around the world are competing for $3.5 million in prize money that will be awarded to the robots that best respond to natural and man-made disasters. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
POMONA, CA - JUNE 05: A NASA robot is wrapped in plastic before going on display at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Robotics Challenge Expo at the Fairplex June 5, 2015 in Pomona, California. Organized by DARPA, the Pentagon's science research group, 24 teams from around the world are competing for $3.5 million in prize money that will be awarded to the humanoid robots that best respond to natural and man-made disasters. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
POMONA, CA - JUNE 05: Team Valor's semi-autonomous ESCHER (Electromechanical Series Compliant Humanoid for Emergency Response) robot falls backwards during its first run during the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex June 5, 2015 in Pomona, California. Organized by DARPA, the Pentagon's science research group, 24 teams from around the world are competing for $3.5 million in prize money that will be awarded to the robots that best respond to natural and man-made disasters. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
POMONA, CA - JUNE 05: Members of Team Aero from the University of Tokyo right their robot after it fell over during its first run during the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex June 5, 2015 in Pomona, California. Organized by DARPA, the Pentagon's science research group, 24 teams from around the world are competing for $3.5 million in prize money that will be awarded to the robots that best respond to natural and man-made disasters. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
POMONA, CA - JUNE 05: An operator attempts to push over one of Boston Dynamics' Spot robot, a four-legged design for indoor and outdoor operation, during the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex June 5, 2015 in Pomona, California. Organized by DARPA, the Pentagon's science research group, 24 teams from around the world are competing for $3.5 million in prize money that will be awarded to the humanoid robots that best respond to natural and man-made disasters. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
POMONA, CA - JUNE 05: People gather around to look at the Team Valor semi-autonomous ESCHER (Electromechanical Series Compliant Humanoid for Emergency Response) robot during the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex June 5, 2015 in Pomona, California. Organized by DARPA, the Pentagon's science research group, 24 teams from around the world are competing for $3.5 million in prize money that will be awarded to the robots that best respond to natural and man-made disasters. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
POMONA, CA - JUNE 05: Members of Team Valor from Virginia Tech wheel their semi-autonomous ESCHER (Electromechanical Series Compliant Humanoid for Emergency Response) robot out for it's first run during the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex June 5, 2015 in Pomona, California. Organized by DARPA, the Pentagon's science research group, 24 teams from around the world are competing for $3.5 million in prize money that will be awarded to the robots that best respond to natural and man-made disasters. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The search giant swept in after the first DRC trials in 2013 and purchased Boston Dynamics, the firm that built the 6ft 2in Atlas robot being used by several of the teams in the tournament (each of which designed its own software and operating system). Google also bought Schaft, a Japanese company that scored highest in the trials, and then promptly withdrew the Schaft robot from the competition, reportedly uncomfortable about Darpa’s links to the military.

The contest is about “fact versus fiction”, said Brad Tousley, the director of Darpa’s Tactical Technology Office. “There’s a lot of fiction out there in the movies. A lot of people at the first DRC trials said, ‘Watching these robots is like watching paint dry.’ That’s fact.

"At Darpa we invest in things early on, that may take many years to come to fruition. Maybe 15 years from now we’ll see the first robot that we can actually send into a collapsed building to do a rescue.”

Team Kaist's DRC-Hubo humanoid robot, from South Korea, defeated the 22 others to win the $2m prize.

Source: Independent

Further reading

MIT cheetah robots can now clear hurdles as they run

'Deadly drones' threat to humans

Virtual pets 'the norm in future'

Robot that bought MDMA, passport and baseball cap released by authorities

Killer robots: No one liable if future machines decide to kill, says Human Rights Watch

Aibo: Japanese hold funerals for robot dogs discontinued by Sony

Why artificial intelligence could kill us – and it's not because it's evil

Robot revolution gathering pace but at what cost to jobs?

Google's robot dog Spot: Can I kick it? Yes, you can!



Empathetic robot Pepper to get AI

Henn-na Hotel staffed by robots to open in Japan

Japan's biggest bank to introduce robot workers

First operation for surgical robot  

Giant killer Robot Overlords loose in Bangor

Independent News Service

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