HKU Advanced Robotics Initiatives HKU Engineering HKU Advanced Robotics Iniatives

DARPA Robotics Challenge


Grand Challenge

The Grand Challenge was held in Fairplex, Pomona, Los Angeles on 5-6 June 2015. Altogether there were 23 teams (two dropped out at last before the real run) taking part in the two-day finals. Details of the whole event are:

  • Qualification requirements
  • All teams had to qualify in order to compete in the final. For the open qualification, tasks included:
    1. the robot must get up from a prone position on the ground (HKU’s Atlas is the only one to achieve this);
    2. the robot must walk 10 meters on a flat ground within 5 minutes;
    3. the robot must cross a barrier of 20 cm high;
    4. walk towards a valve and turn it for a complete cycle within 5 minutes.

  • Qualified teams

  • Eight Tasks include:
    1. driving a car;
    2. getting off from a car;
    3. opening the door and pass through it;
    4. turning a valve;
    5. using a drill to cut a circle on a board;
    6. walking pass a rough terrain or removing debris;
    7. climbing a staircase;
    8. inserting a plug to a socket (a surprise task only announced to the competing teams the day before the Final).


Miami Trials

After six months when Atlas arrived in Hong Kong, Team HKU took part in a trial event held in Homestead-Miami Speedway in Florida on 20-21 December 2013. It was the first time to put Atlas robot from the virtual simulation into a real world. 16 teams from world-wide competed in the Trials. Team HKU scored points in the tasks of terrain-crossing, door-opening and valve-turning.
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Virtual Challenge




From June 17-21, 2013, teams in DARPA's Virtual Robotics Challenge tested software designs to control a simulated ATLAS robot in a three-dimensional, virtual environment through a series of tasks modeled on what activities might be required in a real disaster response situation.
The HKU team members from the Faculty of Engineering, jointly with the Case Western Reserve University team, took part in the virtual challenge under the name of “Team Case”. After the challenge, the contesting teams split, combined and evolved. DARPA has granted funding in support of the team for entering in the next round of competition under the name of “Team HKU” in Robotics Challenge trials to be held in December 2013 in Miami in collaboration with members from “Team K-Japan” and “Team Case”.
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