Italian-made Robot Competing in DARPA’s Robotics Challenge

Photo Courtesy of  Corriere Della Sera
Walk-Man. Photo Courtesy of il Corriere Della Sera.

The Italian-made Walk-Man robot is entering the international competition for a top prize of 2 million dollars alongside 24 robots from other countries, including Japan, China, Germany and Korea.

DARPA, an agency for the United State’s Department of Defense, hosts the competition  in Los Angeles, June 5-6, 2015. The robots are judged on their ability to replace humans during natural and civilian disasters through eight rigorous tests. They must show their skills in walking, working, driving, climbing , opening doors, overcoming obstacles and handling valves and work tools.

Walk-Man was created by a team of 24 specialists from the Italian Institute of Technology in Genoa directed by Roberto Cingolani and led by  Nikolaos Tsagarakis, over a period of 10 months. It has a battery life of about two hours and  the ability to pick itself up after a fall. It is noted for its “soft hand,” which is used for handling delicate objects and created by the University of Pisa Piaggio led by Antonio Bicchi. 

The second place winner receives 1 million dollars, and third, 500 thousand dollars. 

-Meki Shewangizaw

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