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Researchers compete to bring humanoid robots to life

Sharon Gaudin | Dec. 9, 2013
DARPA robot challenge focused on developing tools so robots can use tools, climb stairs and drive cars

Some teams are building their own robot and the software to run it, while others are developing software for the Boston Dynamics Atlas robot, a six-foot, two-legged, humanoid robot that, at this point, has the mobility and dexterity of a one-year-old child.

When the robotics challenge began, 100 teams registered and 26 qualified to compete. The number was thinned to 17 in June after the software was tested in simulation.

The 17 teams remaining are receiving financial backing from DARPA. The field will be narrowed to eight teams or less after the latest challenge.

According to Linton, a humanoid robot capable of assisting humans during a natural disaster is possible within the next 10 years.


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