Last weekend, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency held an American Gladiators for our best robots. The goal of the competition was to find (and fund) the team who could produce a semi-autonomous robot capable of completing the kinds of tasks found in a simulated disaster zone.
After two full days of competition, thrills and spills, the winner was finally announced. I was there during the final round. Check out the video above to see which of the 24 teams brought home the two million dollars!
And as a quick aside, if you’ve seen any footage from the competition, you’ve probably seen some robots taking a tumble. While this should reassure you that the uprising is still a few decades out, remember that each fall is a (somewhat tragic) learning opportunity for roboticists. These robots are the culmination of millions of dollars and hundreds of man-hours. It’s funny, sure, but one day something like what you’ll see in the video above will be saving lives.