Seventeen teams have qualified to participate in the DARPA Subterranean (SubT) Challenge Urban Circuit. Eleven teams will compete in the Systems competition at Satsop Business Park in Elma, Washington, Feb. 18-27, 2020. Eight teams qualified to participate in the Virtual competition, which will run Jan. 23-30. Two teams will compete in both Virtual and Systems events.
The DARPA Subterranean Challenge seeks to better equip warfighters and first responders to explore human-made tunnel systems, urban underground, and natural cave networks, while decreasing risk to human lives. The SubT Challenge Systems and Virtual competitions aim to create a community of multidisciplinary teams from wide-ranging fields to foster breakthrough technologies in autonomy, perception, networking, and mobility for underground environments. The Tunnel Circuit took place in August 2019. The Cave Circuit is planned for August 2020, and the Final Event incorporating all three underground environments is targeted for August 2021.
To compete in the Systems competition, each team had to demonstrate baseline performance capabilities and appropriate safety measures. Teams in the Systems competition will deploy autonomous ground and aerial systems to attempt to accurately identify and map as many artifacts as possible along two competition courses. Each course will include 20 artifacts representing items a first responder or service member may encounter in an urban underground environment.
Qualified Virtual competitors will submit their solutions through the SubT Virtual Portal during the submission window. Selecting from a repository of robot models and a variety of sensors, each team can assemble an esports style solution to map, navigate, and search dark, dangerous, and unpredictable underground scenarios.
Prizes of $500,000 for first place, $250,000 for second place, and $100,000 for third place are available for top performers among self-funded teams in the Systems competition of the Urban Circuit. Self-funded Virtual teams may compete for one of three top prizes: $250,000; $150,000; or $100,000, respectively. DARPA-funded and self-funded teams compete side-by-side throughout the Subterranean Challenge. Only self-funded teams, however, are eligible for prizes in the circuit events. All qualified teams are eligible for prizes in the Final Event.
The following teams qualified for the Subterranean Challenge Urban Circuit are:
Systems and Virtual
A media day will be held Feb. 24 at Satsop Business Park in Elma, Washington. Registration is open to journalists either working directly or freelancing for a recognized news organization. The deadline for registration is Jan. 17, and reporters will receive confirmation of credentials on or before Jan. 31.
Enrollment Website: http://events.sa-meetings.com/DARPASubTChallengeUrbanCircuit/Press
Additional teams may submit credentials to qualify for the upcoming Cave Circuit. Qualification requirements and competition rules can be found on the Resources tab of the Subterranean Challenge website.
Please email questions to SubTChallenge@darpa.mil.
Image Caption: DARPA Subterranean Challenge
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