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CSAIL team advances to finals of DARPA Robotics Challenge
In December a team from MIT advanced to the final round of the DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC), a Department of Defense-sponsored competition in which researchers from around the world operate robots to complete a series of tasks that include walking on rocky terrain, turning valves, opening doors, and driving cars.
"The robots that existed in 2011, when used in the field, couldn't do much more than enter the building and use a camera to look around, or perhaps poke at objects with a primitive gripper, and even this they could do only while being driven continuously by a human operator," said Teller, a professor in the MIT Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) and a principal investigator at CSAIL.
While a few of the other teams built their own robots, MIT was one of many groups that opted to compete in “Track B,” the software development portion that involves using the existing Atlas robot manufactured by Boston Dynamics (a robotics company co-founded by former CSAIL member Marc Raibert).