By Donald Melanson posted Apr 6th 2012 8:34AM
DARPA’s Grand Challenges have already helped put plenty of self-driving cars on (closed) roads, but it looks like the agency has something a bit different in mind for its next one. As first reported by Hizook, DARPA has apparently set its sights on humanoid robots as its next target — specifically, robots that are human-like enough to navigate rough terrain, drive a vehicle and manipulate regular tools (the idea being to simulate assisting in an industrial disaster zone). What’s more, participants will have to develop robots that can do all of that “semi-autonomously,” with only “supervisory teleoperation” permitted. No word on a timeline for the challenge just yet, but DARPA will apparently have more to say when it makes things completely official within the next few weeks.