Several robots will face off at the upcoming DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC) finals in Pomona, Calif., June 5-6, 2015. So, what’s at stake, you might ask. How about a cool $3.5 Mil. in prizes? The winner grabs a sweet $2MM, the runner-up $1MM, and the third place gets $500K–that’s no chump change! This challenge involves navigating a difficult simulated disaster-response course and 24 of the world’s top robotics teams are competing. The course will obviously not be easy–with degraded communication hampering the robot operators, arduous and successive physical tasks include driving a utility vehicle, stepping out and opening doors, locating and closing valves, cutting through walls, clearing debris, and walking up stairs. Here’s a cool video from the WPI-CMU team! As you can see, the DRC is setup to test mobility, dexterity, manipulation, perception, and decision making skills these robots need to excel at to navigate hazardous conditions in disaster affected areas.
Along the sidelines of the DRC challenge, you will also get to see over 80 companies display their robots and UAVs at the Technology Exposition. The Open Source Robotics Foundation (OSRF) will demo their Turtlebot exhibit among other things–please do stop by their booth #14. What’s unique about the Turtlebot demo? It runs the Robot Operating System (ROS) and is powered by the Inforce 6410 single board computer (SBC). Recall that Qualcomm ported ROS to the Snapdragon 600 powered Inforce 6410 last year. Get your hand at driving these Turtlebots around and share your experience!
Talking about the Inforce 6410, ARM recently did a nice review of the SBC and the response to what can be done with the board was fantastic. Sorry, a winner has already been announced. If you are serious about building robots and drones that solve real-life human problems, look no further than starting with the compute building blocks Inforce provides in the form of SOMs and SBCs. Check out the ubiquitous Inforce 6501 Micro SOM that measures just 28mm x 50mm and weighs under 8 grams (0.3oz). With a profile of just 6mm and powered by the Snapdragon™ 805 processor, a custom carrier board with the right kind of I/Os can be built to fit into some of these SWaP constrained designs. You can jump-start your robot designs with Qualcomm’s FastCV™, Vuforia™, Alljoyn™, Hexagon™, and other SDKs that enable computer vision, machine learning, pattern recognition, and communication capabilities on Inforce’s compute platforms.
The Inforce Computing Team
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