back to article Google pulls SCHAFT out of military honeypot, sprays gold at bot team

The team behind SCHAFT, the best-built bot so far in the DARPA Robotics Challenge, will stop dipping into the $1m prize pot it was awarded by the US military – and will instead rely on funds from its new owner, Google. "The decision by Team SCHAFT to self-fund allows DARPA to expand the competition and further develop disaster …


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  1. Chris G Silver badge


    A post earthquake or hurricane scene with collapsed buildings, overturned cars and trapped people.

    A guy is lying pinned under rubble so heavy he can hardly breathe, after days of lying there he is finally found by a Google/Schaft Rescue Rangerbot, the bot closes down a dangerous gas leak by pinching the pipe shut, then it lifts the entrapping rubble off of the grateful survivor, as the bot leans down to pick up the man to carry him off to a waiting ambulance a speaker in the bot's chest activates with a message:

    " Sign up today to Acme accident insurance, we can't stop days like today happening to you but we could help you to pay for the rescue."

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Imagine

      Don't tell me we need Obamarescue.

  2. frank ly

    re. Hefty external power source

    Has anybody tried using hydraulic motors and fitting the robot with an IC engine/compressor and fluid reservoir, etc? This is totally not my area but I understand that hydraulic motors have a greater power density that electric motors and they are tough and reliable.

    1. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: re. Hefty external power source

      There you go, a two stroke dog, you can see the hydraulic lines clearly on the the Darpa dog's leg joints. It's still a problem getting enough duration: load carrying: working time:size ratios, the competition is for a rescue bot so it needs to be compact enough to get into buildings presumably and maybe to go up or down stairs, through doorways but still have a useable duration while it is doing what ever it has to do to execute a rescue.

    2. annodomini2

      Re: re. Hefty external power source

      It depends on the scale, large elements are easier to achieve actuation with hydraulics.

      The motor itself has great power density, but when you add the pump, fluid (tank if it's not hydrostatic), control valves & control system it's generally heavier. You would also need to add control valves and control systems which will add additional weight.

      Hydraulics are also much less efficient than an electric actuator. It depends on the system but roughly 65-70% vs roughly 90% for the electric setup.

  3. maccy

    Who writes these headlines?

    Seriously, they need their own byline.

  4. Graham Marsden

    " this is a military research project...

    "...and other uses may be found for the technology."

    See icon for details, fleshy ones!

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Some sort of Blacksploitation thing?

  6. Faye B

    One Thing to Rule them all

    I always knew we would be Schafted by Google one day. Didn't think it would look like this though.

    1. Tom 13

      Re: One Thing to Rule them all

      By your command...

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