If I were them, I'd build a remote controlled mech - basically giving a visual/optical (and possible haptic) feedback to an actual person positioned in a suit somewhere, who - from there - could then control the humanoid. Problems with this approach would be responstime, and (as always) balance. The latter could be solved by making the making the humanoid crawl on all four; of course, it/he should be able to stand up, and even walk (e.g. to get into the car) - the crawling should just be to avoid falling too much, thereby saving time. (that the humanoid crawls doesn't mean that the person should also lie down; that's the beauty of not actually being there.)
Mr Stiffy
Hmmm really brilliant - but hey it's DARPA!
Just think, after you build it and win it, you will end up having to make a million more of them, that are better, faster, heavily armed and armored - to defend against the fully weaponised ones they send against you.
Its darpa people. They gonna put guns on it! Didnt anyone watch terminator? Its skynet all over again!
Ahimsa Fruitarian
We will (and now do need) robots like these to plant a trillion fruit trees! Especially in hostile climates and conditions. Remember - for the evolution of sustainable life on Earth we need an alternative means of productivity that can do ecological farming and set up designer ecosystems. there is always risk of famime , war , poverty when humans control the Earth alone. New robots could not inevitably support problems forever -that is not logical - so what is the problem except that the focus of all you readers should be to support and petition for robots that can save us from environmental hazards and do the work load that is needed for ecological farming. Contact me if you can help me get robots to plant fruit trees soon.
MasterG....when did Skynet happen?
'....along with avoiding insurmountable obstacles...' I guess insurmountable obstacles won't be so insurmountable after all? Or does all objects need to be mounted? Pffft....
This is a very dumb idea. Or should I say extremely premature? The tech to actually build something like this is way off. The first and biggest problem is powering such a device/robot/machine. Not going to happen. Also, why does it need to be able to drive? Self-driving car technology already exists and will hit mainstream in the next 10 years. I'm not saying it's going to take over or be big initially, but it will be at available at the consumer level.
This request basically is to build an almost fully operational human in robot form. Good luck....but don't be surprised when you fail miserable. Most of these pie in the sky projects fail miserably. It's good thought to push the envelope of technology, but I think this is a little ridiculous.
1) survey the area
2) establish the whereabouts of inhabitants
3) find Sarah Conner
History Nut
Having participated in the first "Robotics Grand Challenge" put on by DARPA, I have to applaud their continuing efforts. To all the naysayers: Yes, the first Grand Challenge was a "dismal failure" but was followed by unqualified success in the next two Challenges! The "prize" system is how great leaps in technology occur most efficiently. Yes, DARPA is part of the DOD but have you ever heard of "spin-offs"? The "can't be done" types have always been beaten by the "let's try it" crowd. Will we get a practical 'humanoid' robot out of this first try? Probably not but they will learn so much from "failure" that the next try will be a resounding success. The only "problem" is how the use of humanoid robots will affect the human workforce and economics. This has already been envisioned by the SciFi authors and dealt with fairly well.
"Failure" is only failure if you quit. Engineering, medicine and all other human endeavor is only advance by "failure" because that fosters inovation.
"Only the Unknowing can believe that Mankind's future is restricted to one small, overstrained planent in a Galaxy of plenty; The Meek shall inherit the Earth, the rest will inherit a Universe"-Unknown
History nut what an awesome quote im stealing it from you! Skynet cos even the bible warns us of this, in the koran it warns us of this too - dajaal (anti christ) has one eye that sees and a smaller glowing red eye (seen a cctv camera lately?) Yes lets give robots a gun and lets see how long before the amazing darpa Ai (another darpa project) takes before it sees us virus like human beans as the THREAT. Robots dont need fruit trees, warmongers need murder death kills, darpa dont do fruit trees.
Talgat Taskhozhayev
Wow! Finally. I'm just dying to see the some competing robots =)
And to all of you naysayers: Have you ever thought about, where the internet came from?
DARPA - is the one of the best things that has ever happened to America.
This is a good idea. Just imagine the spin-off from this in time. If you were around at the start of the twenty-century and told people then that in time almost everyone one day will have these horseless carriage (the car) you would get the same remarks everyone today are make about domestic robots to come. I see only good will come from this. I recon in time we will all have one and trade it in for the next new model as we do with the car, each one better than the last.
Remember the automobile is not cheap, yet we think it is worth spend such large amount of hard earn salary on it, because of how is saves time and gives us freedom to travel at will when we want to. I recon in time robots will be the next most important thing we will have in our homes for the same reasons above and more, such as, when we are disable or just old, it will carry out it tasks twenty four seven. That in its self will give another new life to us all when we enter that part of our life.
Yes, when I think of these things, it would be a wonderful thing to invest in one day. It would be to me what my car is to me now and would give me the freedom when old that I have now when middle age. Roll on with the R&D. I welcome it. Gerard.