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DARPA Subterranean Challenge

Teams

Teams can compete in one or both of the research competitions: the Systems Competition and/or the Virtual Competition.

Meet The Teams
Systems Track

Systems Track

Teams will develop and demonstrate physical systems to compete in live competitions on physical, representative subterranean courses, and focus on advancing and evaluating novel physical solutions in realistic field environments.

Virtual Track

Virtual Track

Teams will develop software and algorithms using virtual models of systems, environments, and terrain to compete in simulation-based events, and explore larger-scale runs in simulated environments that explore significantly expanded scenario sizes and durations.

BARCS: "Bayesian Adaptive Robot Control System"

Organizations Involved

Michigan Technological University/Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTU/MTRI)

What is the inspiration for your proposed solution?

Our team views the virtual track of the SubT Challenge as a problem in multi-agent coordination in highly resource-constrained settings. Resources in this case include agent lifespan, sensing ability, communications connectivity, among others. Our solution is inspired by the need to optimize the joint capabilities of the team as well as the utilization of their resources. We are also leveraging the mathematical strengths of our team to develop principled, generalizable, and novel solution strategies.

CERBERUS: CollaborativE walking & flying RoBots for autonomous ExploRation in Underground Settings

Organizations Involved

University of Nevada, Reno
ETH Zurich, Switzerland
University of California, Berkeley
Sierra Nevada Corporation
Flyability, Switzerland

What is the inspiration for your proposed solution?

Team CERBERUS draws conceptual inspiration from the mythological cerberus, the three headed dog protecting the underworld. From a robotics standpoint we are inspired from the potential of combining two very different modalities of locomotion, namely walking and flying, while simultaneously addressing in a unified manner the perception and navigation challenges.

Website

COLLEMBOLA: Communication Optimized, Low-Latency Exploration, Map-Building and Object Localization Autonomy

Organizations Involved

Scientific Systems Company, Inc.

What is the inspiration for your proposed solution?

Our system is built with the idea of allowing low-Size, Weight, and Power(SWaP) systems to take a key role in the exploration and navigation tasks. We designed our algorithms with low-SWaP systems in mind, which we believe separates our approach from many others.

Website

CoSTAR: Collaborative SubTerranean Autonomous Resilient robots

Organizations Involved

Jet Propulsion Laboratory
California Institute of Technology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
KAIST, South Korea

What is the inspiration for your proposed solution?

Our proposed solution blends several key components that have been in development at JPL, Caltech, and MIT for cave exploration and other applications. (1) For mobility, our hybrid aerial and ground vehicle, the “rollocopter”, arose from the need of having an energy-efficient platform that can also overcome obstacles in extreme environments. (2) Autonomous coordination of a team of robots has been of increasing interest for space and terrestrial missions, and we are leveraging our R&D in networked multi-agent autonomy (swarms) to maintain communications connectivity and explore efficiently and robustly. (3) As part of a multi-robot solution, we will solve distributed simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM), enabling the system to fuse individual sensor measurements into a joint solution of what the environment looks like and where all the robots are located within it. (4) Because JPL often seeks solutions for locations without GPS (like Mars), we have been developing a magnetic quasi-static (MQS) system to aid in medium-range localization by placing and reading magnetic fields. (5) Communications in underground environments can be especially challenging; JPL has a research program specifically looking at networks and communications waveforms for cave exploration.

Website

CRETISE: "Collaborative Robot Exploration and Teaming In Subterranean Environments"

Organizations Involved

Endeavor Robotics
Neya Systems

Website

CSIRO Data61

Organizations Involved

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Australia
Emesent, Australia
Georgia Institute of Technology

CTU-CRAS: Czech Technical University in Prague - Center for Robotics and Autonomous Systems

Organizations Involved

Czech Technological University, Czech Republic
Université Laval, Canada

Website

Explorer

Organizations Involved

Carnegie Mellon University
Oregon State University

What is the inspiration for your proposed solution?

Our approach is inspired by observing many fragile robot demos and seeing that our solutions for exploration often don't match the mobility and size constraints for an actual deployment. Therefore, our approach pursues the themes of resilience and modularity. Resilience will allow our robots to even perform in cases where the nominal approach fails, and modularity will us to rapidly reconfigure platforms for relevant environments.

Website

PLUTO: Pennsylvania Laboratory for Underground Tunnel Operations

Organizations Involved

University of Pennsylvania
Exyn Technologies
Ghost Robotics

What is the inspiration for your proposed solution?

In considering the variety of mobility challenges that we would face in the subterranean environment we felt that it would be best to use a team of heterogeneous agents both legged and flying to take advantage of the advantages of both approaches. Legged systems can provide enhanced mobility over rough terrain and extended mission durations while aerial vehicles are well suited for exploring complex 3D environments. Our approach to coordination is inspired in part by economic systems which also involve multiple agents that need to coordinate their actions in the face of uncertainty.

MARBLE: Multi-agent Autonomy with Radar-Based Localization for Exploration

Organizations Involved

University of Colorado, Boulder
University of Colorado, Denver
Scientific Systems Company, Inc.

Robotika.cz

Organizations Involved

Robotika.cz, Czech Republic
Czech University of Life Science, Czech Republic

What is the inspiration for your proposed solution?

eXtreme Programming: What is the simplest solution which could possibly work (score at least one point)? Now we think that it could be following the wall there and back again...

Website