After the tsunami, when people entering the reactors in Japan were unable to close valves due to the radiation, DARPA robotics research got ramped up. The latest competition is starting in Miami.
Task 1 will feature a robot driving a vehicle through a course, getting out of the vehicle and exit the course, for a total of two points. Task 2 has the robots traversing three different types of terrain, for a total of three points. Task 3 has the robot getting on to a ladder, all contact points on or above the first step, climbing to the fourth step and reaching the landing zone, for a total of three points.http://www.ibtimes.com/darpa-robotics-challenge-2013-meet-teams-hoping-advance-2014-finals-2m-prize-videos-1511042http://www.darpa.mil/Our_Work/TTO/Programs/DARPA_Robotics_Challenge.aspx
Task 4 sees the robots clearing five pieces of debris, a second round of clearing five pieces of debris and exiting a doorway for three points. Task 5 challenges the robot's ability to push open a door, pull open a door and entering a door for three points. Task 6 will give the robots a cordless drill to cut an edge in a selected area, followed by a second and third edge to form a triangle, and the task is complete when the robot removes the triangular piece from the wall for a total of three points. Task 7 has the robots closing three different valves, successful completion is determined by the complete stoppage of air flow, for three points. The final task has the robot moving a hose nozzle to a designated point, touching the wye, or connector, and attaching the nozzle to the wye, for three points.