June 06, 2015      

HUBO takes $2 million prize
After two days of wincing at 400-pound humanoid robots awkwardly hitting the turf as each attempted the rigorous course at the 2015 DARPA Robotics Challenge in Pomona, Calif., one has risen above all the rest: Korea’s entry HUBO (acronym for “HUmanoid roBOt”) took the DARPA crown and the first-place winnings of $2 million.

Hubo

Hubo at the DARPA Challenge.

The HUBO team is a collaboration between the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology’s (KAIST) Humanoid Robot Research Center and the Rainbow Co., which was spun out of the KAIST research lab.

HUBO the humanoid is an innovative pairing of bipedal motion and wheeled motion whenever HUBO dropped to its knees. On its knees, the machine could roll around to cover lots of ground quickly and without any fear of tumbling over. Switching to bipedal mode, HUBO could navigate up stairways.

HUBO, stands 5 ft. 9 in. tall and is a svelte 176 pounds.

Check out HUBO in action:

Second place: $1 million
Team IHMC

The IHMC Robotics team (Florida Institute for Human & Machine Cognition) sponsored by Amazon and Atlassian, The IHMC humanoid was an ATLAS robot from Google-owned Boston Dynamics called Running Man.

Third place: $500,000
Team Tartan Rescue CHIMP

The CHIMP (acronym for CMU Highly Intelligent Mobile Platform) humanoid from Carnegie Mellon University. Interestingly, three of the Tartan Team members (Tony Stentz, Eric Meyhofer, and David Stager recently jumped CMU to work for ride-sharing startup Uber Technologies).