DARPA Robotics Challenge Gears Up For Finale - InformationWeek

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3/24/2015
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Joe Stanganelli
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DARPA Robotics Challenge Gears Up For Finale

The latest highlights from DARPA's years-long robotics competition show us just how creative we can be. Here's what you need to know in advance of the grand finale in June.
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Some Robots Will Use The Cloud
Because the competition challenges will simulate real-life disaster conditions -- including the sort of packet loss and latency issues that can occur when communications equipment is rendered nonfunctional -- the robots competing in the DRC will need all the technological help they can get.
One answer: The cloud.
DARPA is making cloud services available to competitors so that they can take advantage of increased computing power and storage. Teams' operating stations will be connected to the cloud via VPN, with a 50 MBps data rate.
The potential lesson for the enterprise: If the cloud and virtualization are deemed important enough for DARPA-sponsored, bleeding-edge disaster-response technology, they're probably important for your organization, too.
(Image: DARPA)

Some Robots Will Use The Cloud

Because the competition challenges will simulate real-life disaster conditions -- including the sort of packet loss and latency issues that can occur when communications equipment is rendered nonfunctional -- the robots competing in the DRC will need all the technological help they can get.

One answer: The cloud.

DARPA is making cloud services available to competitors so that they can take advantage of increased computing power and storage. Teams' operating stations will be connected to the cloud via VPN, with a 50 MBps data rate.

The potential lesson for the enterprise: If the cloud and virtualization are deemed important enough for DARPA-sponsored, bleeding-edge disaster-response technology, they’re probably important for your organization, too.

(Image: DARPA)

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GAProgrammer
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GAProgrammer,
User Rank: Ninja
3/25/2015 | 2:25:13 PM
Curious...
I wonder what the cost of the grants, plus the events and administration are versus DARPA just doing these projects themselves. Sure, you are gaining some political/social capital as well, but at the end of the day, these are tax dollars paying for this project. 
kstaron
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50%
kstaron,
User Rank: Ninja
3/25/2015 | 3:21:28 PM
Re: Curious...
Yes, tax dollars to incentivize ways to save lives. How many DARPA scientist salaries and how much research money would DARPA have to spend doing this themselves to come up with a solution as good as the second place winner here? this type of competition allows for DAPA to see various possibile ways to use robots to travel over broken terrain, complete simple and complex tasks, and save lives in disaster areas. Compared to the money it takes to get a new prototype of military vehicles, I'm thinking the contest enters the realm of chump change in the grand scheme of the budget. Plus for all the grants given DARPA likely gets to use any of the designs deemed successful.
nasimson
50%
50%
nasimson,
User Rank: Ninja
3/28/2015 | 11:52:54 PM
Re: Curious...
@kstaron: Its not just tax dollars vs scientists' salaries. DARPA on its own is less likely to come up with the creativity that diverse teams from Japan, Italy or China can come up with. I am looking forward to an exciting finale ahead.
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