In June 2015, the finale of the DARPA Robotics Challenge, a competition of robot systems and software teams vying to develop robots capable of assisting humans in responding to natural and man-made disasters, unfolded at the Fairplex in Pomona, Calif. A preliminary DRC Trials event had taken place in late 2013 at Florida’s Homestead Miami Speedway. Participating teams, representing many of the most advanced robotics research and development organizations in the world, developed the hardware, software, sensors, and human-machine control interfaces to enable their robots to take on and sometimes complete a series of challenging tasks selected by DARPA for their relevance to disaster response.
Taking first place and the $2 million in prize money that went with it was Team Kaist of Daejeon, Republic of Korea, and its robot DRC-Hubo. Coming in second and taking home $1 million was Team IHMC Robotics of Pensacola, Fla., and its robot Running Man. The third place finisher, earning the $500,000 prize, was Tartan Rescue of Pittsburgh, and its robot CHIMP.
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