HUBO, Korea's first humanoid robot, was recognized as the world's best disaster robot.
The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) won the DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC) Finals hosted by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Pentagon's research agency. The competition was held at the Fairplex in Pomona, California from June 5 to 6.
A total of 24 teams from the U.S., Japan, Germany, and other countries participated in the competition over 8 missions, including driving and opening doors. HUBO failed to cut through a wall during the time allotted on June 5, which placed the Korean firm in 6th place. However, it successfully completed all 8 tasks within 45 minutes on the following day, thereby winning the competition. The team behind HUBO was awarded US$2 million (2.2 billion won) as a result.
Running Man, which was developed by the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC), nabbed the runner-up position, followed by Tartan Rescue's CHIMP robot from Carnegie Mellon University.
“I hope that winning this competition will serve as an opportunity for our team to keep working to develop technology to make more sophisticated robots,” said Oh Joon-ho, a professor at KAIST who led the research team.
This event was first held in 2013 by DARPA in line with the necessity to develop robots capable of accomplishing tasks under severe circumstances like the Fukushima nuclear disaster.