The Superbowl of robotics kicked off on Friday and just like in a real sporting event there were some major wipe-outs.
The Robotics Challenge is sponsored by DARPA, which is the advanced research arm of the Defense Department. The aim of the competition is to find a robot that can be truly useful in emergency situations.
Twenty-three robots competed for a $2 million grand prize that was claimed by the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology.
The robots had to finish a course that included tasks like driving, climbing stairs, and operating over rubble.
While most of the tasks in this year’s competition weren't new, DARPA did implement some changes that made the course much more difficult.
One of the big changes is DARPA no longer allows power cords, all batteries have to on board, said Gill Pratt, the program manager of the DARPA Robotics Challenge. Also, there’s no tethered communication this year. All communication must be wireless.
“The course this year is about 10 times harder than it was last year,” Pratt said. “We are really pushing these teams to be authentic as possible and make robots that are good enough to use in a disaster."
But not all of the robots that competed in the competition were ready for changes and took some pretty gnarly spills.
Here's some of the best falls we caught.Trying to turn a valve when you're not actually holding the valve has a nasty result: Walking up stairs is hard: And if that's not enough for you, here's a compilation of other contestants falling over:
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