The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's Subterranean Challenge recently concluded its Urban Circuit, with a team of robots and operators from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)'s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) leading.
The competition tests autonomous robot navigation underground, with robots tasked to find 20 predetermined objects on a complex underground course.
The next circuit in the Subterranean Challenge comes in August, when the robots compete in an undisclosed natural cave network; a final circuit next year will blend tunnels, urban environments, and natural caves.
Said JPL’s Ali Agha, "Most of the difficulty lies in communicating with the robots after they've gone out of range. That's critical for NASA: we want to send robots into caves on the Moon or Mars, where they have to explore on their own."
From Jet Propulsion Laboratory
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