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Video: Team ViGIR competes in robotics challenge

Meet Team ViGIR – short for Virginia-Germany Interdisciplinary Robotics – one of two Virginia Tech College of Engineering-based teams competing in the multi-year Robotics Challenge, sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, a subsidiary of the U.S. Department of Defense dedicated to high-tech research. 

ViGIR is a collaboration between College of Engineering spin-off company TORC Robotics – based at Virginia Tech’s Corporate Research Center – the Department of Computer Science’s Center for Human-Computer Interaction, and German-based Technische Universitat Darmstadt, a longtime student-exchange partner with the College of Engineering. 

The team is building new software and control tools for Atlas, a high-tech robot built by Boston Dynamics, as part of the challenge with the end-goal of creating rescue robots that can easily maneuver disaster scenes and save lives. This robot has been named Florian after the patron saint of firefighters (among other professions). 

Virginia Tech’s second team in the challenge is Team THOR, headed by the Robotics and Mechanisms Laboratory, or RoMeLa. This team is currently building their own robot from scratch, also combining forces with partner universities and private companies.

Related reading:  Two Virginia Tech College of Engineering teams, spin-off company TORC, advance in DARPA Robotics Challenge

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    ViGIR robot

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Video: Team THOR advances in DARPA Robotics Challenge

    THOR robot

A Virginia-Tech based robotics team advanced to the second round of the DARPA Robotics Challenge.