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DARPA Picks Eight Teams for Subterranean Challenge Robot Competition Finals

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DARPA Subterranean
DARPA Subterranean Challenge

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has selected eight teams that will compete in the systems competition final event of DARPA’s Subterranean Challenge

The DARPA- and self-funded teams will have their robots look for trapped survivors, invisible gas, cell phones and other common items in underground environments at the Louisville Mega Cavern in Kentucky as part of the SubT Challenge final event that will take place from Sept. 21 to 23, DARPA said Monday.

The eight teams are the CollaborativE walking & flying RoBots for autonomous ExploRation in Underground Settings or CERBERUS; Coordinated Robotics; Collaborative SubTerranean Autonomous Resilient Robots or CoSTAR; CSIRO Data61; Czech Technical University – Center for Robotics and Autonomous Systems – Northern Robotics Laboratory or CTU-CRAS-NORLAB; Explorer; Multi-agent Autonomy with Radar-Based Localization for Exploration or MARBLE; and Robotika.

The CERBERUS team includes the University of Nevada, Reno; University of California, Berkeley; Sierra Nevada; Flyability; Oxford Robotics Institute; and Norwegian University for Science and Technology.

Coordinated Robotics is composed of California State University; California State University, Channel Islands; Oke Onwuka; Sequoia Middle School in Newbury Park, California; and Coordinated Robotics.

The CoSTAR team consists of Jet Propulsion Laboratory; California Institute of Technology; MIT; KAIST in South Korea; and Lulea University of Technology in Sweden.

Czech Technical University and Universite Laval constitute the CTU-CRAS-NORLAB team, while the Explorer team is composed of Carnegie Mellon University and Oregon State University.

The MARBLE team includes the University of Colorado in Boulder and Denver, Scientific Systems and the University of California in Santa Cruz.

Robotika International, Robotika.cz, Centre for Field Robotics Czech University of Life Science and the Cogito team in Switzerland constitute the Robotika team.

“Complex underground settings present significant challenges for military and civilian first responders,” said Timothy Chung, a program manager at DARPA’s tactical technology office. “The DARPA SubT Challenge is looking for novel approaches to rapidly map, navigate, and search underground environments during time-sensitive combat operations or disaster response scenarios.”

The teams will compete across Tunnel, Cave and Urban subdomain circuits. First place winners will get a prize of $2 million, second will receive $1 million and third place winners will get $500,000.

DARPA will also hold a virtual competition for the SubT Challenge and will accept entries through June 29 with plans to announce qualifiers by summer.