Humans find alternative ways to improve life, this time with the help of technology and artificial intelligence. This week, students from all around the world, along with engineers will present and enjoy a show performed by robots of all shapes, sizes and capacities.
No less than 25 teams are set to compete in what is known as DARPA Robotics Challenge Finals, a special competition meant to reveal robots designed by scientists, able to respond to natural or man-made disasters, sometime in the future.
Robots have already proved to be efficient in the case of Nepal disasters, where special designed machines could detect signs of human lives, laying under the dust and ruins. This was a good sign that artificial intelligence can do wonders in times of drama and despair, times when human beings are overwhelmed or surpassed by nature’s wrath.
The competition set to present high performance machines that can react and help in crisis situations and will be hosted by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the military’s R&D branch, open to the public and taking place on June 5. The winning team will benefit from a $2 million budget to develop technology that can make the world a safer place. The second and third place teams are set to receive $1 million and $500.000.
The contest was inspired by the Fukushima disaster in 2011, which could have had a different outcome, provided a build-up of hydrogen gas in the reactor core had been vented in time. For humans, this was an impossible task, as getting into the plant and accessing the valves that could vent the gas would have exposed a human being to fatal doses of radiation. This is a specific case where robots can come into action, as they are great in performing individual tasks and being programmed to do so. At that time, robots were highly specialized, not that versatile to unpredictable conditions, so no robotic systems were able to perform each of a multitude of complex tasks needed to make the necessary movements in order to actually turn the valves.
The RDC presents itself as an attempt to develop better machines, able to face various conditions of disaster and redress the gaps with the help of human minds that can deploy machines in rapid response scenarios when life is at risk. This means that the range of specialization in robotic structure must be more diverse and versatile, with a larger set of commands that can turn fatalities into successful operations.
Image Source: gizmag.com