While Memorial Day is the unofficial first day of summer and most people turn to thoughts of barbeques and vacations, the situation here at OSRF is much different. That’s because it’s only a matter of days until the DARPA Virtual Robotics Challenge (VRC).
There’s lots of information on the DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC) website at http://www.theroboticschallenge.org, but the immediate task before us is a key stage in the DRC where all qualifying teams will run their robots through a computer simulation of some of the anticipated tasks from the live DRC events.
OSRF has developed a simulator for DARPA (more details of our relationship are available at FBO.gov), with the plan that the virtual test environment will play a catalyzing role in development of future robotics technology, allowing new hardware and software designs to be evaluated without the need for physical prototyping. The simulator is an open-source, real-time, operator-interactive virtual test bed, with models of robots, robot components, and field environments.
Needless to say, all of us at OSRF are focusing on making the VRC a big success.
May 31 was the last day for teams to qualify for the VRC, and qualifying teams are able to practice until June 8.
The VRC takes place from June 17 to June 27, and DARPA will announce soon after which teams will advance to the DRC Trials taking place in December 2013.
Details of the DRC events, track structure and participating teams can be found at http://www.theroboticschallenge.org/local/images/DRC_Schedule.png.