The Naval Postgraduate School & The U.S. Department of Homeland Security

I, Help: Robots...The Future of Disaster Relief

On December 20-21, 2013, robots flocked to DARPA's [Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's] Robotics Challenge in Homestead, Florida. The challenge was to present a machine that had, "the ability to perform a number of critical real-world disaster-response skills." Sixteen teams presented their prototypes in hopes to win and receive funding to continue their work. After two days, eight out of the sixteen teams became eligible to receive the prize: $2 million in funding. There were 32 possible points, and listed are the top eight:


  1. 27 Points: SCHAFT (SCHAFT, Inc., Tokyo, Japan)
  2. 20 Points: IHMC Robotics (Florida Institute for Human & Machine Cognition, Pensacola, Fla.)
  3. 18 Points: Tartan Rescue (Carnegie Mellon University, National Robotics Engineering Center, Pittsburgh, Pa.)
  4. 16 Points: Team MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, Boston, Mass.)
  5. 14 Points: RoboSimian (NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Los Angeles, Calif.)
  6. 11 Points: Team TRACLabs (TRACLabs, Inc., Webster, Tex.)
  7. 11 Points: WPI Robotics Engineering C-Squad (Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, Mass.)
  8. 9 Points: Team Trooper (Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Laboratories, Cherry Hill, N.J.)

Here is some footage of these eight amazing robots, and an article on this year's winner SCHAFT.