DARPA Robotics Challenge to develop disaster response robot

Nov 08, 2012
BGU’s team “Robil” is developing software to control the GFE Platform being developed by Boston Dynamics, Inc., based on its Atlas humanoid robot platform and modified to meet the needs of the DARPA Robotics Challenge. The team received a $379,000 grant to develop disaster response control software. Credit: DARPA

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) is the only foreign university team (on Track B) competing for the prestigious U.S. Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) Robotics Challenge.

BGU's team "Robil" is developing software to control the GFE Platform being developed by , Inc., based on its Atlas humanoid and modified to meet the needs of the DARPA Robotics Challenge. The team received a $379,000 grant to develop disaster response control software.

According to the DARPA Web site, the devastation from disasters such as Fukushima, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and the Chilean Copiapó mine collapse all serve to highlight fragility in the presence of unforeseen events.

The Web site states, "The DARPA program will help directly meet these needs by developing for disaster response operations. This technology will improve the performance of robots that operate in the rough terrain and austere conditions characteristic of disasters, and use vehicles and tools commonly available in populated areas. This technology will also work in ways easily understood by subject matter experts untrained in the operation of robots, and be governed by intuitive controls that require little training."

Often, subject matter experts are available with the knowledge to prevent further damage, yet are unable to get close enough to complete their mission – be it from nuclear contamination, intense pressure, structural instability, or many other threats to .

"Robil's team is an ad-hoc consortium led by Ben-Gurion University and comprised of the leaders of the Israeli robotics industry (IAI and Cogniteam) and academia (BGU, Bar-Ilan University, Technion-Israeli Institute of Technology)," explains Robil team leader Prof. Hugo Guterman of BGU's Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. It includes 20 key personnel and over 40 graduate students and engineers.

BGU has achieved worldwide recognition in robotics with advanced laboratories where substantial, cutting-edge research is conducted in cooperation with leading international research groups. With more than 20 years of accumulated experience, BGU is a leader in the field, with scientists conducting applied research in robotics technologies relevant to agricultural, industrial, safety, and security tasks, as well as basic research in mechanical design, algorithms, cognition, and neurosciences.

Explore further: Pleurobot is salamander-like robot with lifelike motion

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

DARPA to Atlas contest hopefuls: Time to cut the cord

Jan 21, 2015

Super Bowls. World Cups. Marathons. Wimbledon. Months and days are marked off by fans and supporters for big events and, for robotics watchers, June cannot come fast enough. The DARPA Robotics Challenge Finals ...

Getting bot responders into shape

Dec 16, 2014

Sandia National Laboratories is tackling one of the biggest barriers to the use of robots in emergency response: energy efficiency.

DARPA's ATLAS robot unveiled (w/ Video)

Jul 11, 2013

On Monday, July 8, 2013, the seven teams that progressed from DARPA's Virtual Robotics Challenge (VRC) arrived at the headquarters of Boston Dynamics in Waltham, Mass. to meet and learn about their new teammate, ...

Using 3D printers to print out self-learning robots

Nov 12, 2014

When the robots of the future are set to extract minerals from other planets, they need to be both self-learning and self-repairing. Researchers at Oslo University have already succeeded in producing self-instructing ...

Recommended for you

Pleurobot is salamander-like robot with lifelike motion

21 hours ago

A video showing "multimodal locomotion in a bioinspired robot" has been making the rounds, and the video demonstrates advances in robotics as scientific tools as well as potential robots for search and rescue ...

Kids and robots learn to write together (w/ Video)

Mar 04, 2015

Who is the teacher: the student or the machine? By showing a robot how to write letters, children improve their writing skills and gain self-‐confidence. This system, called CoWriter, was developed by EPFL researchers.

Evolving robot brains

Mar 02, 2015

Researchers are using the principles of Darwinian evolution to develop robot brains that can navigate mazes, identify and catch falling objects, and work as a group to determine in which order they should ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.