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Robots to the Rescue

Gravity is no friend of rescue robots.

That’s one of the main takeaways from the final trials in the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Robotics Challenge that were held in California on June 5 and 6, 2015.

The contest, launched after the 2011 Daiichi Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster in Japan highlighted the need for robots that could perform reconnaissance or repairs in dangerous areas, pitted 23 teams from around the world in a series of eight disaster-response tasks. Among them: driving solo, climbing stairs, turning valves, and walking through the rubble.

DRC-Hubo, a nimble droid created by a team from South Korea’s Kaist institute for science and technology, took home the $2 million first prize. KAIST robot

Second place, and $1 million, went to Running Man, developed by Team IHMC Robotics of Pensacola, Fla. CHIMP, an ape-like robot from Carnegie Mellon University’s Tartan Rescue, came in third, winning a $500,000 prize.

In addition, five winners were announced for DARPA’s Robots4Us student video contest on the societal implications of robots. Click HERE to see the winning videos.

The Los Angeles Times covered the event.

Watch Hubo, the winning robot from Korea’s Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), go through its paces:

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