Robotics Challenge wraps up, Japanese team takes first place

After leading throughout the competition, Schaft, the Japanese robotics start-up recently purchased by Google, was officially crowned winner of the DARPA Robotics Challenge Trials when they ended on Saturday. Schaft has only been around since 2012, when it spun out of the JSK Laboratory at the University of Tokyo, but it thoroughly dominated the DRC

Watch the Robotics Challenge broadcast live now on YouTube

[ UPDATED: The DARPA Robotics Challenge Trials have ended, with the robot from Schaft Inc. taking the title. Hours of archived coverage of the event are available here. ] To watch the DARPA Robotics Challenge Trials live from Florida’s Homestead Miami Speedway, click the following link for a YouTube stream: DARPA Robotics Challenge Live Broadcast

DRC Trials kick off tomorrow, robots to tackle 8 critical tasks

On April 1, 2012, plans were first announced for the DARPA Robotics Challenge, and after more than a year of anticipation, the robot competitors will finally be put through their paces starting tomorrow. The two-day event, which takes place Dec. 20-21 at the Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Fla., is actually the second stage of the

Four self-funded robots qualify for DARPA Robotics Challenge

The field for this month’s DARPA Robotics Challenge Trials is now set, with four self-funded teams — who built their own hardware and software for the competition — rounding out the line-up. Previously, we learned about the seven teams that survived the Virtual Robotics Challenge and received an ATLAS robot as well as the six

Honeybee Robotics systems aim to revive dead satellites

When your car breaks down, you generally don’t chalk it up as a total loss and leave it for dead on the side of the road. However, that’s essentially what happens when a communications satellite fails in orbit 22,000 miles above the Earth, where thousands of such devices now float as space debris. Many of

AeroVironment wins contract to create new category of UAS

AeroVironment reported today that it has been awarded a $2.3 million contract to help develop a new type of unmanned aircraft system for DARPA. The company will work as the prime contractor with DARPA on the Tactically Exploited Reconnaissance Node (TERN) Program to develop a medium-altitude, long-endurance (MALE) UAS designed to operate from small ships

DARPA gives more than $12M to fund scientific “rising stars”

DARPA reported today that it has selected this year’s class for its Young Faculty Award program, several of whom will concentrate of robotics-related research. From a group of 226 applicants, 25 tenure-track researchers were chosen to receive up to $1 million each over three years. Recipients receive two years of funding at $250,000 each year,

DARPA releases wish list for underwater vehicle launcher

Earlier this month, DARPA hosted a “Proposer’s Day” at Johns Hopkins University to share details of its futuristic Hydra program with companies who might be in a position to help make it a reality. The goal of Hydra is to create an unmanned undersea system that can rapidly deploy unmanned aerial and underwater vehicles worldwide. Pretty

DARPA’s new hollow-core fiber could lead to better sensors

A DARPA-funded team led by Honeywell International Inc. has developed a novel optical fiber design using a hollow, air-filled cores that researchers say could lead to a new generation of high-power sensors. Hollow-core fiber has previously been available from overseas suppliers, but DARPA says its ongoing Compact Ultra-Stable Gyro for Absolute Reference (COUGAR) program has

What we know about the other DARPA challenge robots

Last week, DARPA and Boston Dynamics unveiled Atlas, the humanoid robot that seven lucky teams won the right to program for the DARPA Robotics Challenge Trials in December. They will be competing against a group of teams that created their own search-and-rescue robots, which remain shrouded in considerably more mystery. As we near the competition,