CoSTAR team has got first place in robotic competition

CoSTAR team has got first place in robotic competition

A team including Caltech researchers from campus and JPL earned top honors in the DARPA Subterranean Challenge.

Whether robots are exploring caves on other planets or disaster areas here on Earth, they need to be autonomous; meaning, they need to be able to navigate a location and seek out objects of interest without access to GPS or human guidance.

The Subterranean Challenge tests this kind of cutting-edge technology. Wednesday concluded the second circuit of this contest, which is sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The top-ranking team was CoSTAR (Collaborative SubTerranean Autonomous Resilient Robots), which consists of 60 engineers from the Caltech campus and JPL, MIT, the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), and Sweden’s Lulea University of Technology. Caltech manages JPL for NASA.

The competition is divided into four contests spread over three years in which teams program their robots to navigate a complex underground course. The first contest, held last August, took place in a man-made mine. For the most recent contest, called the Urban Circuit, teams raced against one another in an unfinished power plant in Elma, Washington.

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Source: “Team CoSTAR Takes First Place in Underground Robot Competition”, Robert Perkins, California Institute of Technology