06/12/2015

The Walking…and Falling Robots of DARPA’s Robotics Competition

8:21 minutes

South Korea's Team KAIST won the 2015 DARPA Robotics Challenge with its DRC-HUBO, seen here. Photo by DARPA
South Korea’s Team KAIST won the 2015 DARPA Robotics Challenge with its DRC-HUBO, seen here. Photo by DARPA

In response to the 2011 nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan, the U.S. military research agency DARPA put together a competition to challenge teams to build a robot that could navigate a disaster landscape. The final round of the competition happened this week. Gill Pratt, program manager of the DARPA Robotics Challenge, takes us through the 23 different walking…and falling…robots, and the difficulties in engineering these kinds of machines.

And here’s a compilation of robots falling down at the Challenge:

Segment Guests

Gill Pratt

Gill Pratt is program manager for DARPA Robotics Challenge in Boston, Massachusetts.

Meet the Producer

About Alexa Lim

Alexa Lim is a producer for Science Friday. Her favorite stories involve space, sound, and strange animal discoveries.