The DARPA Subterranean (SubT) Challenge Urban Circuit is a robotic competition taking place at Satsop Business Park in Elma, Washington. Eleven teams will compete in the Systems competition to win up to $2 million.
The overall objective of the SubT Challenge is for each team of robots to spend 60 minutes exploring an underground (or simulated underground) course, searching for a variety of artifacts as well as seek novel approaches to rapidly map, navigate, and search underground environments.
“One of the main limitations facing warfighters and emergency responders in subterranean environments is a lack of situational awareness; we often don’t know what lies beneath us,” said Timothy Chung, program manager in DARPA’s Tactical Technology Office (TTO). “The DARPA Subterranean Challenge aims to provide previously unimaginable situational awareness capabilities for operations underground.”
The DARPA Subterranean Challenge seeks to better equip warfighters and first responders to explore human-made tunnel systems, urban underground, and natural cave networks, while decreasing risk to human lives.
“The interesting part of the real competition is that it’s time constrained, with high pressure and unpredictability. So we have trained ourselves like a real search-and-rescue team so that we and our robots can cooperate perfectly during the mission,” Chen-Lung Eric Lu, Team NCTU.
The Final event, planned for 2021, will put teams to the test with courses that incorporate diverse challenges from all three environments. The winner of the Systems track will take home a $2 million prize, while the winner of the Virtual track will earn a $750,000 prize.
Courtesy of DARPA
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