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17 Teams Qualify to Compete in DARPA Subterranean Challenge’s Urban Event

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The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has selected 17 teams to participate in the second scored event of a challenge that seeks to reduce potential safety risks that may occur in an underground operation.

Participants under the systems category of the Subterranean Challenge Urban Circuit will field autonomous ground and aerial platforms in an effort to locate artifacts that represent objects of potential interest to first responders or warfighters below ground, DARPA said Friday.

Qualifiers for the challenge's virtual segment will be tasked to build esports-style approaches to navigate, identify and track artifacts within austere and dark scenarios.

DARPA will provide $500K to the grand winner of the systems competition, $250K to the second placer and  $100K to the third runner-up. Virtual competition prizes are $250K, $150K or $100K, respectively.

The first SubT Challenge event, called the Tunnel Circuit, occurred in August 2019 at a Pittsburgh research mine.

Urban Circuit's virtual category will take place from Jan. 23 to 30 and its systems category will occur from Feb. 18 to 27 at Satsop Business Park in Elma, Wash.

Click here to view the full list of participants.