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South Korea’s Team KAIST Wins $2M Prize At DARPA’s Robotics Challenge


Team KAIST, a South Korean robotics team competing in the DARPA Robotics Challenge, has taken home the $2 million prize after their DRC-Hubo robot mopped up the competition.

Kaist’s DRC-Hubo, which exhibits a humanoid design capable of transforming into a quickly moving wheeled bot, completed all eight tasks in less than 45 minutes.

In second was Florida’s Institute for Human Machine Cognition’s team with their Running Man robot. The team took home $1 million for their second place finish.

In third, Tartan Rescue’s Chimp robot, which completed all of the tasks in just a bit over 55 minutes and earned the team a $500,000 prize.

Gill Pratt, the DARPA program manager in charge of the robotics challenge, was quoted by Live Science as having said during a news conference on Saturday that the day’s events were “incredible.”

Today was incredible. It was everything we hoped it would be and more.

The obstacle course robots must battle their way through is intended to simulate conditions similar to the 2011 Fukushima nuclear plant disaster in which radiation levels exceeded those deemed safe for humans.

Throughout the content, two mystery tasks were included. The first entailed the pulling of a lever and the second, pulling a plug out of a socket and inserting it into another.

While there were supposed to be 25 teams competing in the challenge, two were missing. Japan’s team Hydra reportedly dropped out at the last minute due to an electronics accident which occurred while training and a Chinese team scheduled to compete was, according to a BBC report, unable to obtain their visas in time for the competition.

In other robotics coverage here at Immortal News, Oregon State University’s DARPA-funded ATRIAS robot might be the fastest bipedal bot in the world, another robot has reportedly learned to cook by watching how-to videos on YouTube, and computer scientists have successfully programmed self-repairing robots to quickly adapt to injury.

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