DARPA Subterranean Challenge: Meet the First 9 Teams

IEEE Spectrum Robotics

As part of the very first event in the DARPA Subterranean Challenge (SubT), the organizers have invited nine teams (and their robots) to Edgar Experimental Mine in Idaho Springs, Colo., for a sort of test run called the SubT Integration Exercise, or STIX. These nine teams have already demonstrated their systems to DARPA, showing that they can navigate autonomously over rough terrain, locate objects, and respond to an e-stop command if they go berserk. For the teams, this will be an opportunity to test out their robots in an actual tunnel system, and at the same time DARPA itself will be able to make sure all of their testing infrastructure and whatnot works, well in advance of the Tunnel Circuit Challenge itself, which will take place in August. Our detailed post on SubT and interview with DARPA program manager Timothy Chung cover all of this stuff, along with the guidelines that teams have to follow when designing and deploying their systems, but all that information doesn't necessarily give a sense of what kind of hardware teams will likely be deploying at SubT. Fortunately, many of the teams participating in STIX have posted pictures or videos of their robots, so we've put together this article to introduce each team and have a look at what they'll be working with.


Red Sox pitcher may need to quit 'Fortnite' thanks to carpal tunnel

Mashable

David Price, one of the Boston Red Sox's best pitchers, may need to quit playing Fortnite if he wants to keep playing baseball. Price sat out Wednesday's game against the New York Yankees due to an issue with his hand -- not an issue you want as a starting pitcher -- which turned out to be carpal tunnel syndrome. After receiving the news, Price told ESPN that he may have to quit playing the popular game Fortnite, which has taken the MLB by storm. Although his condition may not have 100% come from Fortnite, Price is a known Fortnite player, and carpal tunnel syndrome can spring up in people who make small repetitive movements with their hands and fingers, namely typing or gaming. SEE ALSO: Thanos is in'Fortnite' now, which means dancing Thanos is a thing "I've always played [Fortnite] with my teammates, during the offseason, at the field, at the hotel," Price told ESPN.


Swiss inaugurate 12 billion rail tunnel, world's longest

U.S. News

FILE - In this Oct. 8, 2015 file photo a test train drives close to the northern gate near Erstfeld, Switzerland. The celebrations of the opening of the Gotthard Base Tunnel will start on June 1, 2016. With a length of 57 km (35 miles) crossing the Alps, the Gotthard Base tunnel is the world's longest train tunnel.


This robot is perfectly designed to drill tiny tunnels in your skull

Popular Science

Imagine rolling into an operating room to find that your surgical team included a robot. While full-fledged robotic surgeons aren't quite ready for the spotlight, automatons have already found a foothold in the surgical theater. Some systems allow doctors to control robotic instruments--ones able to slice and dice with inhuman precision--using controls or a computer screen, while other medical robots take a doctor's place entirely to conduct specific segments of a larger surgery. Now scientists have taken a big step forward with the latter type of bot: in a study published Wednesday in Science Robotics, a team reports the first ever robot-assisted cochlear implantation surgery. "We were on this project for more than eight years," says lead study author Stefan Weber, a professor at the University of Bern, Switzerland's ARTORG Center for Biomedical Engineering Research.


Digging into Liverpool's secret tunnels

BBC News

Below Liverpool's streets lies a 200-year-old tunnel network that confounds the experts. The Williamson Tunnels could stretch for miles. Every week, a group of volunteers digs through the rubble in an attempt to uncover their secrets.