Monday, December 23, 2013

Google Robot Wins the DARPA Robotics Challenge

From Dec. 14's "Why Google Bought DARPA-funded Robot Maker Boston Dynamics (GOOG)":
Because Google is Evil.
We looked at Boston dynamics in last March's "Your DARPA Dollars at Work: The Amazing Boston Dynamics BigDog and LS3 Bio-mimetric Robots"and before that in 2012's "DARPA Wants Robotics to Rise to the Challenge of Disasters". These things are war machines....
Consider the Robotics challenge as akin to 1968's Prague Spring and "Socialism with a human face".
The Challenge is robotics with a human face.
Or something.

Partly due to the almost visceral reaction to Google's purchase of Boston Dynamics the GOOG said they wouldn't solicit any more military contracts.
Maybe a reprise of "Don't be evil".

From ExtremeTech:

Schaft, moving debris
DARPA’s Robotic Challenge took place in Florida over the weekend, pitting some of the world’s most advanced humanoid robots against each other in a series of complex tasks, and rather fortuitously for a famously acquisitive Silicon Valley company, the winning robot was fielded by a company called Schaft — a Japanese company that was recently acquired by Google as part of its rather sudden segue into robotics. Google now officially, and probably not unintentionally, has its hands on the best humanoid robot in all the land.
The Schaft robot, made by Shaft Inc of Japan — which is now one of Google’s primary robotics research labs —  is one of around 10 robots that were entered into DARPA’s Robotic Challenge (DRC). Over the weekend, the robots competed in eight different tasks to gauge the current state of semi-autonomous bipedal robots, and, of course, to find out who’s the best. (The winner has a strong chance of winning prize money and securing lucrative future contracts from DARPA and the Department of Defense.) The Schaft team won in four out of eight tasks — terrain, ladder, debris, and hose — and accrued a total score of 27 points. Second-place IHMC Robotics, which used Boston Dynamics’ Atlas robot, came in second with two task wins and 20 points.

Rounding out the rest of the DRC results, Tartan Rescue (Carnegie Mellon + NREC) came in third with its CHIMP robot, picking up 18 points, and MIT came in fourth with an Atlas. NASA’s Valkyrie sadly scored zero points. A full break down of the contest and the results can be found on the DRC Trials website. Some cool videos from the event can be found on DARPA’s YouTube channel.

Schaft robot


Who's the black private dick
That's a sex machine to all the chicks?

You're damn right
Who is the man
That would risk his neck for his brother man?
Can ya dig it?
Who's the cat that won't cop out
When there's danger all about
Right on
You see this cat Shaft is a bad mother
(Shut your mouth)
But I'm talkin' about Shaft