South Korea wins DARPA robotics nuclear disaster challenge


A team from South Korea has won the $2 million prize of the DARPA Robotics Challenge, designed to simulate a nuclear reactor disaster situation.

Competitors from all over the world took part in the challenge, sponsored by the US Department of Defense’s R&D arm and held on Friday and Saturday in Pomona, California.

Team Kaist’s DRC-Hubo humanoid robot won the top prize by besting 22 other robots on a obstacle course designed to simulate Japan’s 2011 Fukushima nuclear plant disaster.

During the competition, the robots were tasked with carrying out actions such as driving a car, walking up stairs, opening a door, crossing rubble, drilling a hole in a wall, and turning a valve.

Hubo completed the course in 44 minutes and 28 seconds

Initially 25 teams were to compete, but team Hydra from Japan was forced to drop out due to an electronics accident during training while the Chinese team did not take part reportedly due to visa issues.

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