Past Meetup

DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC) Experience

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Levi Lister participated in the DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC) Trials in December on the Tartan Rescue team from Carnegie Mellon University. He will share his experiences and discuss the CHIMP robot, a 400-lb, 5-foot tall humanoid robot, which placed third out of sixteen teams and advanced to the DRC Finals.

During the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear accident, robots weren’t able to inspect the facility, assess damage, and fix problems. The DRC's goal is to change that by jumpstarting development of robots that can respond to disasters - both natural and man-made. Robots competing in the competition must work in dangerous, degraded, human-engineered environments. They must open doors, turn valves, and connect a hose. They must use hand tools to cut through a panel. They must drive a vehicle, clear debris, and climb a stair ladder. It’s all part of a disaster response scenario that the robots must complete during the challenge.

CHIMP (CMU Highly Intelligent Mobile Platform) is a semi-autonomous humanoid robot. Unlike other humanoids, CHIMP has tank treads on its arms and legs to drive around while maintaining static stability to avoid the complexity of balancing. Its head is packed with sensors to generate full 3-D representations of the environment and transmit to human operators for situational awareness. CHIMP was designed, built, and tested in 15 months leading up to the DRC.
Levi Lister is a Robotics Engineer at Carnegie Mellon University's National Robotics Engineering Center in Pittsburgh, PA. He has worked on various robotics projects from autonomous tractors to the 6.5 ton "Crusher."


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