Lockheed Martin's robotic first-responder is going forward in the DARPA Robotics Challenge. The 6-foot-2 and 330 pounds Atlas robot, built by Google's newly acquired Boston Dynamics, is one step closer to robotic overlords making us obsolete.
Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Laboratories (ATL) recently completed the DARPA Robotics Challenge trials at the Homestead-Miami Speedway. The Lockheed Martin-led team, which includes the University of Pennsylvania and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, guided an Atlas humanoid robot through a number of tasks designed to simulate disaster response scenarios.
Lockheed Martin is one of eight teams to move forward onto the next phase of the Challenge which ends in December, 2014. The final winner will receive a $2 million prize.
“The DARPA Robotics Challenge presented an exciting competition for our team,” said Bill Borgia, director for ATL’s Intelligent Robotics Lab. “It helped us further our expertise in developing robotic autonomy. We’ll continue to move that technology forward both in this challenge and our other efforts.”
As a top qualifier in DARPA’s Virtual Robotics Challenge held earlier this year, the Lockheed Martin team received an Atlas robot to combine with advanced control algorithms and an operator station. The team developed a conceptual system and programed Atlas to perform a series of disaster relief tasks. Tasks included driving a vehicle, walking over various hazards, climbing a ladder, walking over debris, opening doors, drilling a shape in a cement wall, closing various valves and attaching a hose to a hydrant.