Teams to compete in subterranean mapping challenge

May 29th, 2019, Published in Articles: PositionIT, Featured: PositionIT

Eleven Systems teams and five Virtual teams have qualified to compete in the DARPA Subterranean Challenge: Tunnel Circuit; additional teams may qualify for Virtual competition until 10 June 2019.

The eleven teams from around the world will attempt to remotely map, identify, and report the greatest number of artefacts along the passages of a Pittsburgh research mine in the Subterranean Challenge Tunnel Circuit. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Mining Program manages the formerly operational mine, which will serve as the arena for the Systems event from 15 to 22 August 2019.

A passage at Edgar Experimental Mine in Idaho Springs, Colorado, where the SubT Integration Exercise took place in April 2019.

A passage at Edgar Experimental Mine in Idaho Springs, Colorado, where the SubT Integration Exercise took place in April 2019.

The Tunnel Circuit is the first of three circuits in which teams will test their systems and sensors in physical, representative subterranean courses. The Urban Circuit will take place in February 2020, followed by the Cave Circuit in August 2020. The Final Event, incorporating all three subdomains, will be in August 2021.

Virtual competitions will take place concurrently with each of the physical competitions. In the virtual events, teams will develop software and algorithms using virtual models of systems, environments, and terrain to compete in simulation-based events.

DARPA will announce additional qualified teams for the Virtual competition of the Tunnel Circuit following the 10 June deadline. A new qualification scenario is available in advance of a Subterranean Autonomy tutorial 24 May 2019, at the International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) in Montreal. Teams that have previously submitted to the Virtual competition are invited to refine or send new submissions. Teams may qualify using either the original qualification scenario or the new scenario, and attendance at the ICRA workshop is not required.

Teams interested in qualifying in the Virtual competition for the Tunnel Circuit must submit a team registration and create an account for the SubT Challenge Virtual Portal. To qualify for future events for either the Systems or Virtual competitions in the SubT Challenge, teams may submit their qualification materials on a rolling basis. Interested teams also are encouraged to join the SubT Community Forum, where they can engage with other participants and ask questions.

Teams in the Systems competition will compete for up to $2-million in the Systems Final event, with up to $200 000 in additional prizes available for self-funded teams in each of the Systems Circuit events. Teams in the Virtual competition will compete for up to $1,5-million in the Virtual Final event, with additional prizes of up to $500,000 for self-funded teams in each of the Virtual Circuit events.

For more information on the DARPA Subterranean Challenge visit

Contact DARPA Subterranean Challenge,

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