An Overview of the DARPA Robotics Challenge

The DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC) is a competition of robot systems and software teams. Each team must develop a robot that can tackle complex tasks in dangerous environments to come to the aid of humans in disaster response scenarios.


The first place winning team won a $2 million cash prize; second place and third place teams won $1 million and $500,000, respectively.

Qualifying teams must develop all robotic hardware, software, sensors and human-machine control interfaces and adhere to competition rules.

On June 5-6 at the Fairplex in Pomona, California, robots competed in the DRC Finals, where they were expected to complete a series of challenging tasks.


DRC Robots must complete the following tasks; all total, tasks must be completed within a set timeframe of approximately one hour. Teams cannot interact physically with robots and all communication/operation must take place over a wireless network.

      1. Drive the vehicle
      2. Get out of the vehicle *
      3. Open a door and go through *
      4. Negotiate debris (move it or walk over it) *
      5. Use a tool to cut a hole in a wall *
      6. Reach through the opening and open valve *
      7. Cross terrain field including debris and pipes*
      8. Insert a plug into a receptacle *
      9. Climb stairs *
      10. A surprise manipulation task *
    *Walking is included in tasks 2-10.

Robot operation was completely wireless, including power. The wireless network was purposely degraded to mimic disaster conditions, including potential short blackouts to encourage independent, untethered robot function.




UNLV is looking for key sponsors to join us in supporting this incredible effort.