HUFFINGTON POST

When It Comes To Robots, Slow And Clumsy Can Still Be Captivating

Robot Running Man from the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition proceeds to turn a valve in the next stage of th
Robot Running Man from the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition proceeds to turn a valve in the next stage of the competition during the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Robotics Challenge in Pomona, Calif., Friday, June 5, 2015. Robots from 24 teams are taking part in a two-day contest hosted by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, DARPA, to prove their performance in different tasks during a simulated disaster course. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

For fans of flesh-and-blood feats of strength and agility, last weekend was heaven. Added to the NHL playoffs and NBA finals, race horse American Pharoah took the Triple Crown for the first time in 37 years. But our eyes were on competition of a distinctly nonbiological nature -- the Darpa Robotics Challenge (DRC) finals.

The DRC finals took place on Friday and Saturday (June 5 and 6) in Pomona California in front of thousands of fans. The robots were asked to navigate an eight-task course simulating a disaster zone -- tasks included driving alone, walking through rubble, tripping circuit breakers, turning valves, and climbing stairs.

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