DARPA Robotics Challange Trials are held in Homestead Speedway in Florida from December 16-22, 2013. Robolit served in the operations groups as part of the NIST team that was tasked with the design and construction of the test stages for the event. Following a grueling three day setup all eight test stages and the expo area NIST test site are constructed. The competition was a great success where several teams demonstrated quite exceptional performance. More information, pictures and movies can be found at the Robolit Facebook page.
As part of our project with the National Institutes of Standard and Technology on Standard Test Methods for Robotic Systems, Robolit will be taking part in the DARPA Robotics Challange (DRC) tests. We will be overseeing the tests and provide evaluation support for the NIST team responsible of the challenge setup.
Seventeen teams from around the world will be participating in the DARPA Robotics Challange (DRC) Trials at Florida’s Homestead Miami Speedway, December 20-21, 2013. The Trials will provide a baseline on the current state of robotics and determine which teams will continue on to the DRC Finals in 2014 with continued DARPA funding. Competing in the 2014 Finals will lead to one team winning a $2 million prize.
Robolit joined NIST personnel at the euRathlon 2013 competition in Berchtesgaden, Germany. A continuation of the European Land Robotics Trials (ELROB), euRathlon is working with our collaborators at the German military to bring standardized test methods to their competition. This event heralds a new era in closer collaboration between the DHS-NIST-ASTM International Standard Test Methods for Response Robots project and the European robotics community.
Robolit leads the latest incarnation of a decade-long tradition of response robotics summer schools with the 2013 Response Robotics Summer School, co-hosted with Western Australia’s Curtin University of Technology and the Western Australia Police Bomb Response Unit. For the first time, this event focused on the bomb squad challenges in response robotics, in a temporary departure from the search-and-rescue application that had been the subject of previous events. The event was a tremendous success, with several new avenues for collaboration identified, both within Australia and between Australian and international organizations. This event also prepares the way for the 2014 Response Robotics Summer School, to be run in Western Australia and co-sponsored by the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society.
Robolit is working with NIST to develop the challenges for the DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC). As part of this, a Robolit research scientist joined NIST and DARPA officials over August 6-8, 2013 in a site visit to the Homestead Speedway in Florida, the site of the upcoming DRC Trials this December. This visit will help the team further refine the challenges ahead of the competition.
Dr. Raymond Sheh has accepted a position at the Curtin University, Perth, Australia in the Department of Computing. While we are sad to see Dr. Sheh leave US, he will remain as an active member of the Robolit family. In the near term Dr. Sheh will maintain strong ties with Robolit in the Standard Robot Test Methods project with NIST.
Robolit supported NIST efforts in its recent testing of a new response robot for the New York Fire Department and helped to bring together a group of responders from around the US to observe and participate in the event. Apart from yielding data as part of acceptance testing, this test also marked the first time that the DHS-NIST-ASTM International Standard Test Methods for Response Robots had been used for procurement of a robot for a US fire department.
Our team has attended AFTEK 2013 Workshop on Technologies for Natural Disaster Response. First of a series of meetings organized by AFAD, the Turkish equivalent of FEMA, this event brings policy makers, academic researchers and industry representatives together to establish short term and long term goals to help Turkish response agencies better prepared for natural disasters. At this event we presented our work with NIST on standard test methods and the robot test facility established in Alanya, Turkey.