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The latest in the robotics world was on display at a racetrack just south of Miami as a part of a $2 million competition that was funded by the U.S. military.
Robocop may not be too far off in the future. CNN reports that some of the designs shown during the competition looked quite human.
Thirteen teams were competing for the $2 million from the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Project, which is to be handed out next year. Those who entered ranged from well trained and well funded researchers from MIT to hobbyists.
NPR described the tasks that were less than thrilling, but major steps forward in robotics. Tasks like opening a door, climbing a ladder, turning a valve and driving a vehicle were all performed by the robots.
The competition was inspired by the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan in 2011. When people were sent in to turn off valves, they could not. The radiation levels were too high and the incident would have been much less disastrous if robots were there to turn the valves off.
Brett Kennedy, a competitor for NASA said that, “Most of us are much more concerned with pushing robotics forward than we are with beating the other guy.”
All of the robots looked very similar, but all ran very differently. Schaft Inc., a group from Japan, won the competition.