The DARPA Robotics Challenge Finals: Results and Perspectives

Research paper by Eric Krotkov, Douglas Hackett, Larry Jackel, Michael Perschbacher, James Pippine, Jesse Strauss, Gill Pratt, Christopher Orlowski

Indexed on: 16 Nov '16Published on: 01 Oct '16Published in: Journal of Field Robotics


The DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC) program conducted a series of prize-based competition events to develop and demonstrate technology for disaster response. This article provides the official and definitive account of DRC Finals as the culmination of the DRC program. The article details the eight tasks (Drive, Egress, Door, Valve, Wall, Surprise [Plug and Switch], Rubble [Obstacle or Debris], and Stairs) constituting the Challenge, and describes how the competition encouraged supervised autonomous operation by intentionally degrading the communications channel between the remote human operators. The article presents the results of the DRC Finals and places those results in perspective by identifying both strengths and weaknesses of robot performance exhibited at the competition.