A Virginia Tech-based robotics team, Team THOR, recently advanced in a two-year DARPA Robotics Challenge. The group is an international team of academic and private roboticists headed by Dennis Hong of the Robotics and Mechanisms Laboratory, or RoMeLa for short.
Team THOR must design and build a new, semi-autonomous robot that will be tasked with driving a jeep-like vehicle, and then exiting the vehicle, walking over rubble, clearing objects blocking a door, and entering a building. The robot then must locate and shut off a leaking valve, install a hose, and climb an industrial ladder. Finally, it must use a power tool and break through a concrete wall.