DARPA Robotics Challenge (2013) – Team: RE2/UTARI

The DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC) was a humanoid robotics challenge that was aimed at performing disaster relief style tasks. The contestants were encouraged to have autonomous systems, but teleoperation was acceptable as well.

The competition comprised of several tracks including teams who were allowed to borrow an Atlas robot, teams who made their own robot, and teams who competed in a virtual/simulated sub-challenge (called the Virtual Robotics Challenge, or VRC) in order to win the right to borrow an Atlas robot. RE2 and the University of Texas at Arlington Research Institute (UTARI) teamed together to form a team to compete in the VRC.

The following is a video describing the VRC and simulator

Of the 126 teams who initially applied for the virtual portion of the challenge, 26 teams made it past the initial qualifying round. Of these 26 teams, 6 were to initially chosen to receive ATLAS robots and move on to the (physical) competition. After some teams merged, one team donated the majority of their winnings to another team and yet another team had a sponsor buy them an ATLAS, more teams were allowed to move to the next round. In all, 9 teams moved on from the VRC.

The RE2/UTARI team did well and placed 15th in the VRC, but did not continue on to the rest of the competition.