RE2, Inc., in partnership with Soar Technology, Inc. and the University of Texas at Arlington, has been selected as a performer on the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency’s (DARPA) latest cutting edge robotics program entitled the DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC).
The goal of the DRC program is to develop and demonstrate innovative robotics technologies for disaster response operations such as in natural disasters or industrial accidents. The technology is intended to allow a robot to perform complex tasks in dangerous or degraded environments considered too dangerous for humans.
RE2 was selected as one of 11 teams that are being funded by DARPA to develop software that will run in a government-provided simulation environment. The software must control the simulated robot to perform a variety of different tasks, including walking across rubble, opening a door, climbing a ladder, and driving a utility vehicle.
“RE2 has a history of developing perception and autonomy software for complex tasks in both structured and unstructured environments,” stated Dr. Patrick Rowe, VP of research & development for RE2. “We are honored to have the opportunity to apply our robotics software experience to the critical task of disaster response in order to help advance our nation’s ability to quickly respond to natural and man-made disasters.”
All of the teams will compete in a competition scheduled for June 2013 to determine whose software performs the best in completing the challenge tasks. The top six teams will receive additional funding and a humanoid, bi-pedal walking robot to further develop and test their software.
“Broad Agency Announcements, such as this one from DARPA, are highly competitive. So we are very pleased to have been awarded a spot in DARPA’s latest robotics challenge,” stated Jorgen Pedersen, president & CEO of RE2. “All of the performers represent the best of the best in the robotics industry today and we are proud to be included in this program.”