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Bug-Sized Robot Competitors to Swarm DARPA's 'Robot Olympics'

By Live Science

July 30, 2018

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The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is seeking insect-sized robot designs to compete in contests of strength, speed, and agility under its Short-Range Independent Microrobotic Platforms (SHRIMP) program.

The machines will be tested for deployment in locations too hazardous or inaccessible for human navigation.

SHRIMP's goal is to invent solutions for powering small robots, and probing materials that could enhance performance without adding to their size or weight.

DARPA says SHRIMP's "Olympic-style evaluation" will see how well the bots demonstrate their maneuverability, dexterity, and mobility.

One test area will concentrate on untethered actuator-power systems, showing how high and how far robots can jump, how much weight they can lift, how far they can throw objects, and how they fare in a tug of war.

Another contest will assess the robots on rock piling, climbing vertical surfaces, navigating an obstacle course, and performing in a biathlon.

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