DARPA Selects Teams for Subterranean Navigation Challenge

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has selected nine teams to take part in a competition that aims to innovate on the navigation of man-made tunnels, urban underground locations and natural caves.

The two-track Subterranean Integration Exercise challenges teams from universities and companies to apply robotics, sensor and communications technologies as they remotely navigate through the Edgar Experimental Mine in Idaho Springs, Colo., this April, DARPA said Tuesday.

The competition’s systems track challenges teams to develop technologies that would allow them to physically navigate through subterranean environments, while the virtual track seeks technologies that navigate through simulated scenarios.

Participants will then advance to three preliminary SubT Circuits Stage rounds, and then to a final event combining the three previous courses scheduled for 2021.

System track teams will compete for up to $2M in prize money, while virtual teams will compete for up to $1.5M, with varying additional prizes for self-funded teams.

Competing teams include:

  • CERBERUS: CollaborativE walking and flying RoBots for autonomous ExploRation in Underground Settings
  • CoSTAR: Collaborative SubTerranean Autonomous Resilient Robots
  • CRAS: Center for Robotics and Autonomous Systems
  • CRETISE: Collaborative Robot Exploration and Teaming In Subterranean Environments
  • CSIRO Data61
  • Explorer
  • MARBLE: Multi-agent Autonomy with Radar-Based Localization for Exploration
  • PLUTO: Pennsylvania Laboratory for Underground Tunnel Operations
  • Robotika.cz

You may also be interested in...

Blue Origin

Blue Origin Launches 14th New Shepard Mission With Updated Crew Capsule

Blue Origin, a space company owned by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, used a capsule with updated crew systems during the company's 14th mission with the New Shepard rocket. The updated capsule featured new push-to-talk communications systems, noise reduction tools, cushioned wall linings, environmental systems and a crew alert system, Blue Origin said Thursday.


Teledyne Subsidiary to Produce Additional Navy LCS Missile Defense Modules

A Teledyne Technologies subsidiary has secured an $18M contract from Northrop Grumman to manufacture four more missile defense systems for the U.S. Navy's littoral combat ship mission package.


Lockheed’s Orion Spacecraft Concludes Assembly, Testing for NASA’s Artemis Mission to Lunar Orbit

Lockheed Martin has sent the Orion capsule to NASA’s exploration ground systems team for final preparations ahead of the unmanned Artemis I mission to lunar orbit that will launch later this year. The spacecraft concluded assembly operations and testing at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.