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DARPA Robotics Challenge Finals

DARPA Robotics Challenge Finals

Metal Rebel places eighth in the world during the DARPA Robotics Challenge Finals. Their goal: Build a robot capable of disaster relief work. View the slideshow.

Research | Jun 8, 2015 | By Aaron Mayes
  • Kiwon Sohn makes a few adjustments to Metal Rebel before the start of the DARPA Robotics Challenge Finals.

  • Engineering professor Paul Oh, left, and Kiwon Sohn work through one of the challenges.

  • Donghyn Ahn, left, and Kwangwoo Lee keep watch as Metal Rebel takes the practice stairs before the competition.

  • The DARPA Robotics Challenge Finals were part expo and part competition. It featured 12 teams from the United States as well as 11 teams from Japan, Germany, Italy, Hong Kong, and Korea.

  • UNLV's humanioid Jaemi Hubo, which was part of another project for engineering professor Paul Oh, attracts young fans.

  • Inspiring the next generation of engineers is one goal of the competition. Howard R. Hughes College of Engineering STEM Admissions Counselor Josefina Ly talks with possible future Rebels.

  • Jaemi Hubo leads expo-goers in a session of tai chi.

  • Even the smallest robotic devices inspire awe.

  • UNLV professor Paul Oh, left, talks with his cousin, JunHo Oh of the South Korean Team Kaist, the eventual winner of the DARPA Robotics Challenge finals.

  • The first task of the DARPA Robotics Challenge is the driving test, which Metal Rebel expertly accomplished.

  • Once out of the vehicle and through the door, Metal Rebel then had to turn a valve.

  • Donghyn Ahn gives an approving grin as Metal Rebel completes the task.

  • Engineering Dean Rama Venkat rallies the fans.

  • In one of the more difficult tasks, Metal Rebel has to pick up a power tool and cut a hole into the drywall.

  • Metal Rebel pushes through debris as part of another task. Upon completion of each of the eight tasks, the team is awarded one point. On the first day of competition, UNLV's entry scored six points, a team best.

  • UNLV fans cheered on Metal Rebel with the Rebels chant after each point was awarded.

  • The last task is climbing the stairs.

  • Donghyn Ahn celebrates with teammates after Metal Rebel made the last step atop the stairs in day one of the competition.

  • The competition brought out friendly encouragement from other teams.

  • President Len Jessup, Engineering Dean Rama Venkat, and Vice President of Research Tom Piechota join professor Paul Oh and the team for a photograph.

  • With Metal Rebel's run in the DARPA Robotics Challenge Finals over,  Kiwon Sohn, chief of the engineering unit, collapses. He'd worked for the past several months with little sleep as his team prepared for the competition.

UNLV was among 23 of the world's best robotics teams competing in the 2015 U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Challenge Finals, an elite competition of robots and their human supervisors, on June 5-6 at the Fairplex in Pomona, Calif.

Launched in response to a humanitarian need that became glaringly clear during the nuclear disaster at Fukushima, Japan, in 2011, the DARPA Robotics Challenge consisted of three increasingly demanding competitions over two years. The goal was to accelerate progress in robotics and hasten the day when robots can enter areas too dangerous for humans and mitigate the impacts of natural or man-made disasters.

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