TechX Urban Warfare Robot Challenge

Here's a great idea; let's accelerate the process of creating autonomous fighting machines that can operate in urban environments. Haven't I seen this somewhere before?


(Terminator)

In 1984, the year Terminator came out, urban-roaming, fully autonomous, Austrian-accented robot killers were only a gleam in the eyes of movie-goers. Now, Singapore's Defense Science and Technology Agency (DSTA) would like to have them in real life, ASAP.

The TechX Challenge wants robots that can climb stairs, use elevators and work freely inside buildings, where satellite locating services may not be available. Robots will need extensive machine vision capabilities, as well as the smarts to know what to do with an elevator.

Today, for example, few robots understand that pressing the "Down" button repeatedly really does make the elevator come faster. What if insurgent robots get on the elevators, and push all the buttons for intervening floors? So many technical challenges ahead...

Applications are due by the end of May of 2007; a qualifying round will be held in May of 2008, with the final test in August of 2008. Even though they will miss Judgment Day (August 21st, 1997 - according to the movie), Skynet will still be pleased.

From Street-fighting robot challenge announced.

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