The DARPA Robotics Challenge, a search for the rescue robot of tomorrow, just ended its two-day competition, and the machine you see here is the glorious champion. Team Schaft, a Japanese start-up acquired by Google, not only won, but trounced the rest of the ‘bots in the contest.
The competition had robots from 16 teams perform a series of tasks, including driving a car, climbing a ladder, opening a door, and attaching a hose to a wall connector. Three points were awarded for doing each task autonomously, and one point was awarded for doing the task without any human assistance. Out of a possible 32 points, Schaft scored 27, besting its nearest competitor, IHMC Robotics, which used the Google/Boston Dynamics ATLAS robot, by seven points. (Three teams actually scored zero points.)
The top eight teams will now be able to apply for $1 million in DARPA funding ahead of the finals next December, where a winner will be crowned and given $2 million more in cash.