For the upcoming Challenge itself, DARPA says robots will
compete with each other, performing disaster response operations
in a scenario that will likely include the following sequence of
1. Drive a utility vehicle at the site.
The robot has to enter the vehicle, drive it on a travel course,
and exit the vehicle. The robot has to operate the vehicle controls
including steering, throttle, brakes, and ignition. The vehicle is
expected to be an unmodified utility vehicle such as a John Deere
Gator or Polaris Ranger.
2. Travel dismounted across rubble.
The robot has to cross terrain ranging from smooth and level
to rough and sloped, with some loose soil and rocks. A human would easily traverse the terrain. In addition, the terrain will
include discrete obstacles such as rocks, bushes, trees, and ditches that the robot must avoid.
3. Remove debris blocking an entryway.
The robot has to move an object blocking an entryway. The object will have size, weight, and other properties to be
movable either by a person or by the GFE (Government Furnished Equipment) Platform. The object is expected not to exceed
five kilograms and be solid like a rock or a cinder block, and may have an irregular shape.
4. Open a door and enter a building.
The robot has to operate a door handle and have the strength to push the door open. The door and door handle are
expected to be standard commercially available items.
5. Climb an industrial ladder and traverse an industrial walkway.
The robot has to traverse an industrial elevated walkway (also known as a catwalk) with a grated surface and handrails.As
part of this task, the robot has to climb an industrial ladder. It is expected that a person would need to use both arms and legs
to climb the ladder.
6. Use a tool to break through a concrete panel.
The robot has to use a power tool to perform “forceful manipulation.” The power tool will likely be an air or electric
impact hammer and chisel, or an electric reciprocating saw. The task is to break through a concrete panel (with no rebar) or
through a framed wall.
7. Locate and close a valve near a leaking pipe.
The robot has to find a leaking pipe and a nearby valve, which it needs to close. The facility will contain multiple pipes, but
only one will be leaking that will have visible smoke and an audible hiss similar to escaping gas. It is expected that a person
would need to use two hands to close the valve.
8. Replace a component such as a cooling pump.
The robot has to locate the pump and be able to loosen one or more fasteners to extract the pump from its fittings, then
reverse all the steps to replace the pump. It is expected that the pump will be small and compact enough that a human could
handle it with a single hand.
DARPA says these are representative tasks and it “will adjust the difficulty of the scenario as the program progresses,
depending on capabilities demonstrated and practical considerations.” The scoring criteria and competition rules have not yet
been defined. However, DARPA says that robots that perform more autonomously and consume less energy will score higher.
SERVO 06.2012 29