Team Explorer Adds Capabilities for Latest DARPA Robotics Contest

Robots negotiate stairs, fly through narrow doorways, bounce off obstacles

Maneuvering wheeled robots up and down stairwells and flying drones slim enough to slip through narrow doorways and tough enough to survive collisions are among the new capabilities Team Explorer has added for the latest competition in the DARPA Subterranean Challenge.

Explorer, which includes researchers from Carnegie Mellon University and Oregon State University, is one of 11 teams that will send robots into the depths of an incomplete nuclear power plant in a search-and-rescue scenario. Teams have been told to be ready to search multiple levels and open spaces within the plant, looking for artifacts such as a simulated human survivor, a backpack, a cellphone, a vent and a mock gas leak.

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