Robotics

Advanced robotics technology showcased at DRC

The exhibition was part of the 2015 DARPA Robotics Challenge Final
The exhibition was part of the 2015 DARPA Robotics Challenge Final
View 67 Images
A drone displayed by Johns Hopkins University
1/67
A drone displayed by Johns Hopkins University
An early DARPA humanoid robot
2/67
An early DARPA humanoid robot
DARPA disaster responder suit
3/67
DARPA disaster responder suit
A robot going through its paces before the exhibits open
4/67
A robot going through its paces before the exhibits open
Remote controlled robot showing off
5/67
Remote controlled robot showing off
Detail of Boston Dynamics's Cheetah
6/67
Detail of Boston Dynamics's Cheetah
Boston Dynamics's Cheetah on display
7/67
Boston Dynamics's Cheetah on display
Boston Dynamics's Cheetah gave performances at the DRC
8/67
Boston Dynamics's Cheetah gave performances at the DRC
Boston Dynamics's Cheetah front
9/67
Boston Dynamics's Cheetah front
Robot towing small trailer
10/67
Robot towing small trailer
Sandia National Laboratories's walking endurance robot
11/67
Sandia National Laboratories's walking endurance robot
The exhibition was part of the 2015 DARPA Robotics Challenge Final
12/67
The exhibition was part of the 2015 DARPA Robotics Challenge Final
The exhibition coincided with the DRC Finals
13/67
The exhibition coincided with the DRC Finals
Some famous silver screen robots were also on display
14/67
Some famous silver screen robots were also on display
The Telefactor robot
15/67
The Telefactor robot
The Telefactor robot showing its manipulators
16/67
The Telefactor robot showing its manipulators
Telefactor robot with a hammer
17/67
Telefactor robot with a hammer
Telefactor robot manipulator
18/67
Telefactor robot manipulator
A US Navy underwater robot
19/67
A US Navy underwater robot
The Navy robot was one of several underwater exhibits
20/67
The Navy robot was one of several underwater exhibits
A simpler underwater robot
21/67
A simpler underwater robot
Members of the public were given the chance to control this underwater robot
22/67
Members of the public were given the chance to control this underwater robot
The driverless car built by GM and Carnegie Mellon that won the DARPA Urban Challenge in 2007
23/67
The driverless car built by GM and Carnegie Mellon that won the DARPA Urban Challenge in 2007
The driverless car built by GM and Carnegie Mellon that won the DARPA Urban Challenge in 2007
24/67
The driverless car built by GM and Carnegie Mellon that won the DARPA Urban Challenge in 2007
The Crusher driverless military vehicle built by Carnegie Mellon for DARPA
25/67
The Crusher driverless military vehicle built by Carnegie Mellon for DARPA
The Crusher weighs 13,200 lb (5.987 kg)
26/67
The Crusher weighs 13,200 lb (5.987 kg)
A DARPA drone
27/67
A DARPA drone
An early University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) robot
28/67
An early University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) robot
UNLV robot with passenger
29/67
UNLV robot with passenger
Robotic hand built by SRI
30/67
Robotic hand built by SRI
Mars rover wheels on display at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) exhibit
31/67
Mars rover wheels on display at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) exhibit
The largest wheel was built for the Curiosity rover
32/67
The largest wheel was built for the Curiosity rover
Face of Robosimian at the JPL exhibit
33/67
Face of Robosimian at the JPL exhibit
Robosimian's foot/claw
34/67
Robosimian's foot/claw
Robosimian side view
35/67
Robosimian side view
Robosimian detail
36/67
Robosimian detail
Servos on display at the Robotis exhibit
37/67
Servos on display at the Robotis exhibit
Captain America robot standing by
38/67
Captain America robot standing by
A Robotis manipulator
39/67
A Robotis manipulator
A Korean student project to produce a robot that can fly a small prop plane
40/67
A Korean student project to produce a robot that can fly a small prop plane
Bomb disposal robot
41/67
Bomb disposal robot
DARPA wall-climbing robot
42/67
DARPA wall-climbing robot
A 3D printer by TechShop
43/67
A 3D printer by TechShop
an iRobot control unit
44/67
an iRobot control unit
an iRobot at a dexterity demonstration
45/67
an iRobot at a dexterity demonstration
Robot showing off its maneuvering abilities
46/67
Robot showing off its maneuvering abilities
A recon robot
47/67
A recon robot
Robot taking a pamphlet
48/67
Robot taking a pamphlet
A Caltech underwater robot
49/67
A Caltech underwater robot
Exhibits also included a K9 rescue team
50/67
Exhibits also included a K9 rescue team
SRI exoskeleton for the military
51/67
SRI exoskeleton for the military
An SRI micromanipulator
52/67
An SRI micromanipulator
MIT robot being hit with a robot mallet in balance demonstration
53/67
MIT robot being hit with a robot mallet in balance demonstration
NASA's Valkyrie robot, which competed in the 2013 DRC
54/67
NASA's Valkyrie robot, which competed in the 2013 DRC
A Clearpath robot
55/67
A Clearpath robot
Clearpath platform with a Baxter robot
56/67
Clearpath platform with a Baxter robot
A pneumatic boxer by AirRobot
57/67
A pneumatic boxer by AirRobot
A pneumatic manipulator by AirRobot
58/67
A pneumatic manipulator by AirRobot
An RE2 teleoperated manipulator robot
59/67
An RE2 teleoperated manipulator robot
The GE Hitachi Stinger robot for inspecting nuclear reactors
60/67
The GE Hitachi Stinger robot for inspecting nuclear reactors
Team Robotis
61/67
Team Robotis
A robot getting a soda
62/67
A robot getting a soda
Sandia National Laboratories robot
63/67
Sandia National Laboratories robot
Sandia also makes video collars for rescue dogs
64/67
Sandia also makes video collars for rescue dogs
A JPL robot
65/67
A JPL robot
Robosimian on display
66/67
Robosimian on display
The 2015 DRC Final and exhibition attracted over 10,000 people per day
67/67
The 2015 DRC Final and exhibition attracted over 10,000 people per day

The recent 2015 DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC) Finals saw the world's most advanced robots facing off against one another, but outside the grandstand of the Fairplex in Pomona, California, was another show as universities, companies, and DARPA itself staged an exhibition of the latest in robots and robotic technology. We took a stroll around the booths.

The 2015 DRC Finals was intended to advance robotics by inviting international teams to build and program robots capable of helping responders in a major disaster, such as a nuclear accident. However, it was also meant as a platform where the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency could introduce itself to the general public. Though DARPA has been around since 1958 and is responsible for developing what is now the Internet, outside of military and technological circles it isn't very well known.

An early DARPA humanoid robot
An early DARPA humanoid robot

As visitors to the DRC Finals walked toward the grandstand as they entered the grounds, they were funneled through an open-air corridor furnished with television screens and exhibits describing what DARPA is and what it does – with heavy emphasis on the agency's disaster relief technology rather than warfighting work. Along with video greetings from DARPA's chief and presentations about rescue operations were glassed exhibits of robot manipulator hands, a Boston Dynamics Cheetah robot, an alarming-looking wall-crawling robot, and an early humanoid walking robot.

Spreading out from the central corridor that formed the DARPA exhibit were the tents of 48 other organizations, companies, and universities. With two dozen teams vying for US$3.5 million in prizes, it isn't surprising that many were also well represented with everything from a modest offering of pamphlets to complex displays of duplicate robots, older versions of the competitors, components, and other projects in the works.

For those not wanting to miss any of the competition in the grandstand, there was a giant television set up giving blow by blow coverage, and even a mock up of the course for those who wanted to match their skills in person at the tasks with the challengers. There was also a Polaris exhibit, where visitors could see variations of the ATVs used by the robots in the competition.

Mars rover wheels on display at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) exhibit
Mars rover wheels on display at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) exhibit

And of course, there were more robots than you could shake a stick at. iRobot not only had a stand where it displayed bomb disposal robots, recon robots, and the domestic Roomba line, but also joined other companies in showing off the dexterity and maneuverability of robots in carrying out various tasks. Telefactor had alarmingly lifelike manipulators, GE had a swimming robot designed to inspect nuclear reactors, and AirRobot had pneumatic boxers like something out of Big Hero 6.

This is only to mention a few because there were also walking robots in an endurance challenge, a line of miniature dancing robots, robot Captain Americas, ladder-climbing robots, soda-can carrying robots, driverless cars – including the vehicle that won the DARPA Urban Challenge in 2007 – and even a robot parrot.

The driverless car built by GM and Carnegie Mellon that won the DARPA Urban Challenge in 2007
The driverless car built by GM and Carnegie Mellon that won the DARPA Urban Challenge in 2007

Then there were the robot-related exhibits, such as the Robotiq company, which provided components to many of the teams, and Ekso Bionics with its exoskeleton. Added to these were the non-terrestrial robots, such as the UAVs that flew around a huge netted-in tent, and underwater robots that swam about in tanks.

The Telefactor robot showing its manipulators
The Telefactor robot showing its manipulators

Some exhibits were a bit more tangential, such 3D printers, STEM exhibits teaching the rudiments of coding and robot building, and first responder demonstrations to show that dogs still have a place in a robotic world as well as displays of search tactics and hazmat equipment. National Geographic also screened its documentary Robots.

Take a virtual tour of the exhibits in our photo gallery.For more information about the 2015 DRC Finals see our wrap up of the event or visit the official site.

0 comments
There are no comments. Be the first!