The U.S. Department of Defense agency responsible for the development of military technology, sponsored the DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC), the robotics Superbowl, which aims to find a robot that can be utilized during emergency situations.
The contest, held at the Fairplex in Pomona, California was participated by competitors from all over the world.
The team from KAIST, the former Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, in Daejeon, South Korea, built and piloted DRC-Hubo, the humanoid robot which won the grand prize of $2 million after beating 22 other competitors.
HUBO, developed since 2002, has control algorithm manipulation and bipedal walking capabilities. The latest model has powerful joint motors and hands to handle different tasks during disaster situations. The robot also knows how to stand and to kneel for fast and wheeled motion.
Running Man, won the second place and took home a $1 million prize. Previously called Atlas, Running Man has self-contained power, computing, cooling and equipped for wireless communication created by Team IHMC Robotics, of Pensacola, Fla.
Team Tartan Rescue, of western Pennsylvania, took home the $500,000 prize and won third place for its red robot CHIMP, designed to work in hazardous environments. With its akin to the human form feature, ability, strength and precision, the robot is able to perform complex, human-level tasks in these types of setting.
The three winning robots finished the eight-task challenge consisting of the robotic opening of doors, driving and getting out of a car, climbing stairs, clearing or navigating through rubble, breaching a wall, closing a valve and re-plugging a big black plug.
Participants were commended by the organizers for participating in the challenge, saying that DRC is just the beginning of a future in which people and humans work together to reduce disaster toll.