In the DARPA challenge robots autonomously navigate underground, Regardless of whether robots explore caves on other planets or in depressed areas on Earth, autonomy allows them to move in extreme environments without human guidance or access to GPS.

The Subterranean Challenge or SubT tests this type of advanced technology. The competition, sponsored by the Agency for Advanced Defense Research Projects (DARPA), closes the second round on Wednesday, February 27.

The first in the race was CoSTAR, teams 12 and 60 teams led by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (winners for a separate virtual race were also announced).

SubT is divided into four chains which are spread over three years. With each of them, the team programmed their robot to navigate a complex underground course. In the DARPA challenge robots autonomously navigate underground.

The first competition that took place last August was at the mine. For the latest, Urban Circuit, teams compete with each other at the unfinished power plant in Elma, Washington.

Each team robot searches for a set of 20 predetermined objects and receives one point for each finding. CoSTAR won 16 points for the Urban Circuit; The 11-point team is an explorer led by Carnegie Mellon University.

Collaborative SubTerranean Autonomous Robots (CoSTAR) develops robots that can independently explore caves, pits, tunnels and other underground areas.

Watch the team and their robotics crew get ready for the Subterranean Challenge Urban Circuit Circuit during the training session at Elma High School in Elma, Washington, on the days before the race. In the DARPA challenge robots autonomously navigate underground.

“The aim is to develop software for our robots to help them decide what to do while facing new surprises,” said Ali Aga, leader of the JPL CoSTAR team. “These robots are very autonomous and most make decisions without human intervention.”

CoSTAR, which means Collaborative Sub-Autonomous Autonomous Robot, carries heavy equipment that can roll, walk, or fly depending on the meeting.

On the way, the bot must map the environment and find objects such as warm dolls that simulate survivors or lost cellphones with WLAN. This special course, which aims to simulate the urban environment, also includes carbon leakage and hot air ventilation.

The Urban Circuit Team includes a four-legged robot called Spot, which is provided by Boston Dynamics.

“One of the two programs we have to complete is very diverse. It’s great that the Boston Dynamics robot on the ladder is fantastic,” said Joel Burdick, Caltech professor and JPL researcher. He is the head of the department at Caltech University from the CoSTAR team. In the DARPA challenge robots autonomously navigate underground.

As bots explore, they send video and digital cards back to human leaders with whom they lived in radio contact during the first 30 meters of the course. You can expand this range by starting a communication node, a kind of wireless repeater.

As soon as there are no more contacts, each robot decides whether to continue or withdraw to update the team. Each person must rely on different robots to access various levels of the course. For example, wheeled robots might need quadrupeds to climb or climb stairs.

“This course is very, very challenging, and the biggest difficulty is communicating with robots once they are out of reach,” said Aga. “This is very important for NASA. We want to send robots to caves on the Moon or Mars, where they have to explore themselves.”

Mapping the Moon or the cave of Mars can identify a good refuge for future astronauts. In addition, microbial life is more likely to survive beneath the surface of Mars or in sea ice moon planets like Europe, Enceladus and Titan. NASA wants to search for life in areas where robots often cannot make contact. In the DARPA challenge robots autonomously navigate underground.

The next chain of Underground Challenges will be placed in a natural cave network that hasn’t been discovered in August.

The final chain, which combines tunnels, urban environments and natural caves, will take place in August 2021. The teams participating in the closing ceremony have the opportunity to raise up to $ 2 million from DARPA.